Exploring the Stars, 80th, London Scouts / Venturers, Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Clear skies greeted 9 visitors (7 children and 2 adults / leaders) from the 80th London Scouts / Venturers for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, April 26th, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Graduate student Viraja Khatu presented the digital slide presentation “Black Holes” and fielded questions. Viraja then introduced the “Crater Experiment” activity, which involved dropping various size balls into a pan—placed on the floor—filled with flour and topped with chocolate powder to demonstrate impact cratering.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Everett opened the dome and made ready the big 25.4cm refractor, installing the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X). When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. He explained the Schmidt Camera and Cassegrain Reflector telescope piggy-backed on the 25.4cm refractor and fielded questions. Bob then called everybody’s attention to the 2 clocks on the east wall of the observatory and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time.

Everett operated the 25.4cm refractor throughout the evening, showing the visitors Jupiter, Sirius and Betelgeuse, through the 28mm Meade SWA eyepiece (157X). He then swapped in the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (258X) to show them the double-star Castor and the star Pollux in the constellation Gemini. Bob gave a tour of stars and constellations on the roof patio and one of the Scouts / Venturers asked if the North Star, Polaris, could be viewed through the telescope. Everett directed the 25.4cm refractor towards Polaris and everybody had a good view of the North Star though the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (258X).

The visitors were gone by around 9:35 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy under clear skies.