Exploring the Stars, 85th London Pathfinders, January 21st, 2015

Cloudy skies with snow flurries greeted 19 visitors from the 85th London Pathfinders (Girl Guides), including 17 children and 2 adult for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, January 21st, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “Constellations” and fielded questions.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Tricia Colvin and Bob Duff. Since snow flurries ruled out opening the dome, Everett set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) near the door to the roof patio. When the visitors arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) for demonstration. He also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Bob called everybody’s attention to the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian and explained the difference between a reflector and refractor telescope. He then invited everybody to view the wind turbine on the nearby Engineering building to the south through the 25.4cm Dobsonian. Tricia supervised as the visitors lined up to view the wind turbine through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), which was set up just inside the dome door.

After everybody had returned downstairs to the lecture room, Shannon presented the activity “Constellations”, distributing 17 “Star Finder” plansipheres. Shannon helped them assemble the plansipheres and showed the slide “Reading a Star Finder” and several slides of constellations to help them learn how to use them. The visitors were gone by around 8:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy despite the cloudy sky and snow flurries.