Exploring the Stars, Best Buddies, Fanshawe College Chapter, April 1st, 2014

Partly cloudy skies and windy weather greeted 15 visitors (including 2 children) from the Best Buddies, Fanshawe College Chapter, for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, April 1st, 7:00 p.m. They included staff and family members from Hutton House, with which Best Buddies is associated. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation Life in the Universe and answered questions. Tony then introduced the activity Constellations and distributed 12 Star Finder planispheres. RASC London Centre member Bob Duff went around with Scotch tape to help people assemble the planispheres. Tony demonstrated the sky charting software Stellarium and showed everybody how to use the planispheres. He speeded up Stellarium to show how the constellations revolved around the Polaris through the night.

It was 8:30 p.m. by the time everybody arrived upstairs in the dome. Bob gave a talk about the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor and explained the 25.4cm Dobsonian reflector. He also explained the 2 clocks on the east wall and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. Tony then showed the visitors Jupiter through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X), glimpsed between clouds blowing in from the west. Bob also showed them Jupiter through the 25.4cm refractor (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Everybody was gone by around 9:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy, despite clouds and windy weather.