Hazy, partly cloudy skies greeted 33 visitors (26 children and 7 adults) from the 99th London Pathfinders / Rangers / Guides for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, November 26th, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge.” She distributed and showed how to assemble and use 33 “Star Finder” planispheres.
Shannon brought everybody upstairs into the dome where Bob Duff introduced himself and Everett Clark as representing the RASC London Centre. Everett and Bob had glimpsed Deneb and Vega earlier in the evening only to see them disappear in the hazy clouds. Capella vanished before they could locate it in the big 25.4cm refractor, with the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). Thus there were no stars to observe when the visitors arrived in the dome.
Bob gave a talk on the history and technical aspects of the Cronyn Observatory and the 25.4cm refractor. He explained the 2 clocks on the east wall and the difference between standard and sidereal time. He briefly explained the difference between a refractor and reflector telescope and invited them to view the weathervane on the Engineering building through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, with 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), which was set up on the roof patio. Everybody was gone by 8:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable and informative evening of astronomy, despite the cloudy sky.