Exploring the Stars, 66th London Brownies, November 21st, 2016

Cloudy skies and cold weather greeted 6 visitors (4 children and 2 adults / leaders) from the 66th London Brownies for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, November 21st, 2016, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Kendra then showed the slide “How Does a Telescope Work?” before bringing them downstairs into the “Black Room” for the activity “Telescope Kits,” with the Brownies assembling small cardboard telescopes from reusable kits.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on some of the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob explained the 2 clocks on the east wall and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. Bob also showed them the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian—which Paul had set up inside the dome—and explained the difference between a reflector and refractor telescope.

Paul brought a Telrad which he installed on the white finderscope of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, aligning it using the communications tower in south London. The Telrad (currently on loan from Paul) will most certainly make it easier to locate deep-sky objects in the 25.4cm refractor! Kendra showed the Brownies and their leaders the lights on the communications tower through the 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X). Bob also showed them the communications tower through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) from inside the door to the roof patio.

The Brownies and their leaders were gone by around 8:00 p.m. after an interesting and enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes.