Cloudy skies greeted 28 visitors (19 children and 9 adults / leaders) from the London 31st B Cub Scouts for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, February 9th, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Robin Arnason presented the digital slide presentation “The Small Bodies in Our Solar System”and fielded questions. Jeff followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet,” making a comet from dry ice and other materials on a table set up at the front of the lecture room.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Paul Kerans. When everybody arrived upstairs, Robin gave a brief talk about the big refractor in the dome, which remained closed due to the cloudy weather. The Cub Scouts were able to view the wind turbine on the Engineering building and later the red light on the construction crane through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), which Everett had set up just inside the dome door to the roof patio.
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 had placed his lunar meteorite sample display case in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover and he invited the Cub Scouts to “walk on the Moon.” The visitors were gone by around 8:30 p.m., after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, despite the cloudy sky.
There were 2 very useful additions to the equipment available at the Cronyn Observatory during the course of the evening. Paul installed a “Rigel Systems QuikFinder”—ordered by Professor Jan Cami—on the large white finderscope of the big 25.4cm refractor. RASC London Centre member Patrick Whelan arrived during the evening and was assisted by Everett in bringing in Matt Neima’s 12-inch (30.5cm) home-built Dobsonian—a donation to the London Centre for use at the Cronyn Observatory.