Clear skies with a few clouds greeted 23 visitors from the 59th Beaver Scouts (including 6 Beavers, 8 other children and 9 adults) for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, October 15th, 2014, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System”. RASC London Centre was represented by Tricia Colvin, Mark Tovey and Bob Duff.
When the group arrived upstairs in the dome Bob gave a brief talk about the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Shannon and Bob showed the visitors the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) and, as the sky darkened, the star Vega (137X) and the “Double-Double” star system Epsilon Lyrae (18m Radian eyepiece, 244X).
On the roof patio outside the dome Mark operated the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain showing the visitors the communications tower and the yellow and blue double star Albireo (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X).
Tricia showed visitors the wind turbine on the Engineering building and Albireo in the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Bob later showed several people the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (66X).
The visitors returned to the lecture room downstairs where Shannon distributing 11 “Star Finder” planispheres and showed everybody how to assemble and use them, showing them the slide of a planisphere and several constellation slides. The visitors were gone by around 8:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.