Cloudy skies, later clearing, greeted 33 visitors (24 children, 8 adults and one young Scout leader) from the 70th and 2nd London Cub Scout Packs at the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Thursday, February 13th, 2014, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation “Constellations”. After this Tony presented the sky charting software “Stellarium”, which went over well, especially when he sped up the clock looking north. Tony then distributed some 30 “Star Finder” planispheres and showed everybody how to assemble and use them.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Despite mostly cloudy skies Everett made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio, directing it towards the weathervane on the Engineering building. Fortunately, the sky began to clear shortly after everybody arrived upstairs and Everett directed the big 25.4cm refractor towards Jupiter (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) and later the one-day-prior-to-full Moon (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X). Bob showed them Jupiter, the Moon and the Orion Nebula (M42) in the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Everett handed out 2 “Secrets of the Night Sky” Canadian Space Agency (CSA) sky charts to interested visitors.
When people went back downstairs Tony did one more activity demonstrating eclipses using 2 different size balls representing the Earth and the Moon with the slide projector light beam representing the Sun. The Cubs and their leaders were very pleased and one Cub group received their astronomy badges immediately, with the other to receive them later at their meeting.
The visitors were very impressed by the presentations and the views through the telescopes and the Cubs and their leaders expressed their appreciation. Some adults and Cubs remained behind for discussion and questions and by the time everybody had left it was around 8:40 p.m.