Cloudy skies with possible rain showers greeted 8 children and 7 adults for a total of 15 visitors from the 67th London Brownies for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, November 10th, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. She followed this with the activity “Crater Experiment”, inviting the children to a table at the front of the lecture room where she had set up a pan filled with flour topped with chocolate powder. After Kendra demonstrated how a crater was formed by dropping a ball into the pan, the children took turns dropping balls of various sizes and forming craters in the pan of flour topped with chocolate powder.
When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, RASC London Centre member Bob Duff gave a talk about the history of the Cronyn Observatory, including some technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. The cloudy skies with possible rain ruled out using the big 25.4cm refractor; however, Bob rotated the dome to demonstrate how it worked. He also showed them the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (reflector telescope) set up inside the dome and explained the difference between a reflector and refractor telescope.
There were 4 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews ) pamphlet distributed to interested adults and everybody was gone by 8:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, despite the cloudy weather.