Partly cloudy skies and cold weather greeted 26 visitors (18 children and 8 adults / leaders) from the Ilderton Girl Guides and Pathfinders, Thursday, March 9th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. They were welcomed by graduate students Kendra Kellogg and Viraja Khatu. Kendra presented the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet,” making a comet from dry ice and other materials.
RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Kendra showed the visitors the 4-day-past-first quarter gibbous Moon through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Paul set up the London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian on the roof patio outside the dome. Bob supervised as the visitors viewed the Moon through the 30.5cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 88X) and Paul later showed them the red giant star Betelgeuse.
Paul showed the visitors his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as his Moon and Mars meteorite samples in small plastic display cases. Paul invited the Guides and Pathfinders to “walk on Mars” and then “walk on the Moon” by placing on the floor of the observatory his Mars meteorite sample in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover and then swapping in the lunar meteorite sample. The visitors were gone by 8:30 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of astronomy, despite the partly cloudy skies and cold weather.