Exploring the Stars, Al-Taqwa Islamic Secondary School, November 11th, 2014

Cloudy skies with some light rain greeted 13 visitors (9 children and 4 adults) from Al-Taqwa Islamic Secondary School for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “Big Bang” and fielded questions.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Tricia Colvin and Mark Tovey. Shannon brought everybody upstairs and gave a talk about the big 25.4cm refractor and the 2 clocks on the east wall of the dome, explaining the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. Since it was raining Tricia and Mark set up the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) and Tricia, Mark and Everett set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain (12.5mm Ortho eyepiece, 160X) inside the dome so as to view outside through the door to the roof patio.

Tricia showed the visitors the lights on the communications tower in south London through the 25.4cm Dobsonian and Mark showed them the TV screen visible in the Western Student Recreation Centre windows through the 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain.

Bringing everybody back downstairs Shannon did the “Constellations” activity, distributing 8 “Star Finder” planispheres and showing the visitors how to assemble and use them. She used slides of constellations including one slide featuring a “Star Finder” plan sphere. The event ended at 7:50 p.m. and the visitors were gone by 8:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable and informative evening of astronomy.