Exploring the Stars, 68th London Beavers, March 5th, 2013

Clear skies greeted 12 visitors (6 children and 6 adults) to the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation, “Constellations,” and answered questions. She then distributed 12 “Star Finder” planispheres and showed the visitors how to use them.

Bringing the group upstairs into the dome, Parshati took them out on the roof patio and showed them how to locate the constellation Orion with their “Star Finder” planispheres. RASC London Centre member Bob Duff pointed out Orion with his green laser pointer. Parshati then directed the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome towards Jupiter, which made a good view through the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). RASC London Centre member Everett Clark set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian on the Observatory’s roof patio and Bob showing the visitors the Orion Nebula (M42), using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X) together with the Orion Nebula filter—to enhance contrast. Bob also showed them the double star Castor in the Dobsonian, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (89X).

Parshati took the group back downstairs for the “Crater Experiment” activity, in which flour and cocoa was poured into an aluminum tray, set out on the floor, and objects were dropped into it to demonstrate how craters are formed. The visitors were gone by around 8:04 p.m. after giving thanks for a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre