Cloudy skies with some light rain greeted 18 visitors (12 children and 6 adults / leaders) from the 4th London Cubs for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Jeff Vankerkhove presented the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge” with the title slide “The Basics” and fielded questions. Jeff followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet,” making a comet from dry ice and other materials.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Rainy weather ruled out opening the dome. Everett set up the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (20mm Plossl eyepiece, 100X) inside the dome so as to view the lights on the communications tower in south London through the door to the roof patio.
When the visitors arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob also explained the Cassegrain Reflector telescope and Schmidt Camera piggy-backed on the 25.4cm refractor as well as the 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope set up inside the dome. He also explained the 2 clocks on the east wall of the observatory and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time.
The Cubs viewed through 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain, which was directed towards the communications, and later redirected by Everett towards the TV screen in the Western Sports & Recreation Center. The visitors were gone by around 8:30 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, comets and telescopes.