Exploring the Stars, Circles, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Clear skies greeted 20 visitors (11 children and 9 adults) from Circles for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with a planispheres activity, distributing 20 “Star Finder” planispheres and helping assemble them with adhesive tape and showing everybody how to use them.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) for demonstration. He explained the Schmidt Camera and Cassegrain Reflector telescope piggy-backed on the 25.4cm refractor and fielded questions. Bob then called everybody’s attention to the 2 clocks on the east wall of the observatory and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time.

Everett operated the big 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) in the dome, showing the visitors Jupiter and the star Sirius, with Kendra later showing them the double-star Castor, which made an impressive sight through the big telescope. On the roof patio outside the dome Kendra and Bob showed visitors Jupiter though London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 88X) and 25.4cm Dobsonian (18mm Radian eyepiece, 62X), with Bob also showing a couple of visitors the star Sirius.

Paul showed the visitors his meteorites, including the chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as the Moon and Mars meteorite samples in small plastic display cases. Paul invited them to “walk on the Moon” by stepping on his lunar meteorite sample display case placed in a wooden block with a transparent Lexanpolycarbonate sheet cover. The visitors were gone by around 9:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, meteorites and telescopes under clear skies.