Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge” before 37 visitors, comprising 25 children and 12 adults (including 6 leaders) from the 68th London Cubs – C Pack at the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Tuesday, January 21st, 2014, 6:30 p.m. Parshati fielded questions following her presentation.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Everett selected 31 “Star Finder” planispheres, for the 25 children and 6 leaders present, and Parshati immediately distributed these, showing everybody how to assemble and use them as dispensers of Scotch tape were circulated.
It was very cold and the sky was clear. Jupiter was high in the eastern sky but frequently obscured by clouds of steam from the heating plant. Everett directed the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) in the dome towards Jupiter and set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio, also directing it towards Jupiter. Everett and Parshati operated the big 25.4cm refractor while Bob took charge of the 25.4cm Dobsonian. Despite frequently obscured and blurry images occasioned by clouds of steam from the heating plant, the children and adults were thrilled to see Jupiter with cloud belts on its surface and 4 moons visible—2 on either side of the planet.
Everett then redirected the big 25.4cm refractor towards the double star Castor in the constellation Gemini and Bob located the Orion Nebula (M42) in the 25.4cm Dobsonian. These were pleasing sites to the visitors who circulated between the telescopes and went downstairs into the lecture room to get warm. The observing was over by 8:05 p.m. Everybody was very pleased with the evening, despite the cold, and the visitors were gone by 8:30 p.m.