Exploring the Stars, Little Astronomers, October 15th, 2015

Cloudy skies greeted 10 visitors, including 6 children (ages 6—10) and 4 adults, from the group Little Astronomers for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, October 15th, 2015, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. He followed this with the activity “Crater Experiment” in which craters impacts were simulated by dropping objects into a pan of flour topped with cocoa powder.

When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, RASC London Centre member Bob Duff gave a talk about the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. At Tony’s prompting, Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Since it was cloudy the dome remained closed and the visitors took pictures of the children standing on the observing ladder and viewing through the eyepiece. The adults took 3 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlets that Bob presented to them.

Tony brought the group back downstairs into the lecture room for another question and answer period. The children showed an enthusiastic interest in astronomy with the evening finally ending around 8:00 p.m.