Exploring the Stars, 2nd Lambeth Girl Guides, April 5th, 2016

Clear skies with a few clouds greeted 17 visitors (12 children and 5 adults / leaders) from the 2nd Lambeth Girl Guides for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, April 5th, 2016, 6:00 p.m.  Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe presented the digital slide presentation “The Girl Guide Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions.  Dilini followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits,” with the children assembling simple telescopes from small reusable kits.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff.  Everett made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the dome roof patio, directing it towards the wind turbine on the Engineering building.  When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, using his green laser pointer to indicate the 25.4cm objective lens and the finderscopes.  Bob also used his green laser pointer to show them the Cassegrain reflector telescope and Schmidt camera piggy-backed on the 25.4cm refractor and briefly explained how they worked.  Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall.

Dilini began by showing the visitors the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) and was later assisted by Everett in locating Jupiter in the bright eastern sky.  They swapped in the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X) to show the visitors an impressive view of Jupiter in the 25.4cm refractor.  Bob showed the visitors the wind turbine on the Engineering building and later Jupiter through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X).  Everybody was gone by a little after 8:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable early evening of astronomy and learning about telescopes.