Exploring the Stars, 97th Cub Scouts of London, January 19th, 2016

Mostly cloudy skies greeted 34 visitors (21 children and 13 adults / leaders) from the 97th Cub Scouts of London for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “The Cub Scout Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits”, with the Cubs assembling 18 simple telescopes from small reusable kits. RASC London Centre member Paul Kerans brought 2 iron / nickel meteorites, which he showed to some of the visitors.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob also explained how a reflector telescope worked pointing to the Schmidt camera and Cassegrain reflector, piggy-backed on the 25.4cm refractor, and to the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, which Paul had set up inside the dome door and directed towards the wind turbine on the Engineering building. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Cloudy skies with possible snow ruled out opening the dome. Bob supervised as the Cubs lined up to view the wind turbine though the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mmNagler eyepiece, 66X).

The visitors took about 12 of the “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlets that had been set out on the table for them and Paul handed out one “Star Finder” planisphere. The visitors were gone by 8:35 p.m. after an enjoyable and informative evening learning about telescopes and astronomy.