Mostly cloudy skies greeted 31 visitors (18 children and 13 adults) from the Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS), Matthews Hall School Chapter, for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, October 20th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation “The Earth & Moon”, fielding questions as he spoke.
RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. The sky cleared sufficiently to reveal the first quarter Moon early in the evening and Bob went down and interrupted the slide presentation to invite the visitors up into the dome before the sky completely clouded over. The children gave Tony an affirmative vote and Bob brought everybody upstairs to view the Moon. Bob showed them the Moon between occasionally obscuring clouds in the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Paul showed them the Moon in the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) set up on the roof patio outside the dome.
Bringing everybody back downstairs, Tony continued with his slide presentation, demonstrating the phases of the Moon and eclipses using the Sotellunium—a mechanical eclipse demonstration model—set up on a table at the front of the room. He followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits”, showing the children how to assemble a telescope from a small reusable kit and then distributing 15 fully assembled telescopes to groups of children to focus by looking out the windows.
The visitors were gone by around 9:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable and educational evening learning about the Earth and the Moon and viewing the Moon through telescopes.