Exploring the Stars, KLC Homeschool Group, March 20th, 2013

Mostly clear skies greeted 26 visitors (16 children and 10 adults) from the KLC Homeschool Group for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Allison Hill made the digital slide presentation, “Our Messy Solar System.” She followed this with the activity, “Kitchen Comet,” making a comet from dry ice and other ingredients on the floor of the lecture room.

Bringing the group upstairs into the dome, Allison, along with RASC London Centre member Everett Clark, showed them the one-day-past first quarter Moon, and later Jupiter, through the 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Outside on the roof patio graduate student Ted Rudyk and RASC London Centre member Bob Duff showed them the Moon and Jupiter through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X).

Around 8:00 p.m. Ted and Bob took the 25.4cm Dobsonian along with the 10 X 50mm binoculars outside on the sidewalk along the south side of Lambton Drive near the traffic light intersection at Western Road to search for Comet PanSTARRS. The evening was cold and clear with just a few clouds to the west.

Ted scanned the western sky for Comet PanSTARRS without success and Bob showed a lady with several children, who had just left the Cronyn, the Moon through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) set up on the sidewalk. Ted found the comet later in the binoculars but by this time the Dobsonian had been returned to the Cronyn Observatory. Everybody was gone by around 8:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre