Clear skies greeted 30 visitors (21 children and 9 adults) from the 59th London Cubs and Scouts for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, March 24th, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “Cubs and Scouts Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. She followed this with the activity “Constellations”, distributing 21 “Star Finder” planispheres and showing them how to assemble and use them, using the slide “Reading a Star Finder”.
Early in the evening and before making her side presentation Parshati directed the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece) in the dome towards the 3-days-prior-to-first quarter crescent Moon. RASC London Centre was represented by Tricia Colvin, Mark Tovey and Bob Duff. Mark set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian on the east side of the roof patio outside the dome early in the evening. Tricia and Mark also set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain on the roof patio’s west side.
When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Bob gave a talk about the Cronyn Observatory being in its 75th year, having been completed in 1940, and some technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Parshati supervised as the visitors viewed the Moon through the big 25.4cm refractor, which made a pleasing sight through the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). Parshati also gave out one “Moon Gazers’ Guide” card. Tricia located Jupiter with the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) in the still nearly daylight sky around 6:36 p.m. She showed the visitors Jupiter and later the Orion Nebula (M42) as the sky darkened. Bob located Jupiter in the 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain, replacing the 20mm Plossl eyepiece (100X) to give the visitors a better view with the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (160X). Mark later redirected the Schmidt-Cassegrain towards Venus giving visitors a splendid view with 20mm Plossl eyepiece (100X).
Towards the end of the evening Bob redirected the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece) in the dome towards Jupiter and Parshati supervised as visitors viewed the giant planet with its 4 Galilean moons visible. The visitors were gone by around 8:35 p.m. after a very successful and enjoyable evening of astronomy.