Clear skies greeted 18 visitors (11 children and 7 adults) from the Dorchester Cub Pack to the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Tuesday, November 19th, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation “Constellations” and dealt with a list of items they wanted covered in extensive question and answer sessions before and during the talk. Tony emphasized identifying the circumpolar constellations and finding Polaris and this was later followed up on the Observatory's roof patio under the stars.
They discussed True and Magnetic North and the greater accuracy of using the North Star. They also discussed the Milky Way, Sun, stars and planets and shared Greek and First Nations myths and Tony made mention of Comet ISON during his presentation. There were 6 “Star Finder” planispheres given out so that each Cub group leader would have one for follow-up activities. It was enough to meet the requirements of the Cub Scout Astronomy Badge.
Following the presentation, Tony brought the group upstairs into the dome. Everett Clark represented the RASC London Centre and made ready the 25.4cm refractor in the dome and the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian on the roof patio. Through the 25.4cm refractor the visitors viewed the Double-Double star system Epsilon Lyrae, nicely resolved in the Tele Vue 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X), and the star Vega, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (351X). Tony then directed the 25.4cm refractor towards the waning gibbous Moon rising in the east, which made a fine site in the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X).
Outside on the Observatory’s roof patio Everett showed them the Moon through the 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). Everybody was gone by around 8:30 p.m. after a very pleasant and educational evening of astronomy!