Exploring the Stars, London 66th, Beaver Scout Group, February 2nd, 2016

Cloudy skies and rain greeted 19 visitors (9 children and 10 adults / leaders) from the London 66th Beaver Scout Group for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “Constellations” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the activity “Constellations,” distributing 19 “Star Finder” planispheres and showing the visitors how to assemble and use them with transparent adhesive tape. She then showed the visitors the slide “Reading a Star Finder” followed by several constellations slides from the astronomy software program “Stellarium” to help them learn how to use the planispheres.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Paul Kerans, later joined by Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs Paul gave a brief talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob gave a brief explanation of the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall when he arrived later. Since it was raining, the dome remained closed. Paul had set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the dome so as to view out the door and Everett, and later Bob, supervised as the visitors viewed a compressed gas canister with gauges visible in the window of the nearby Engineering building to the south. The visitors took about 7 of the “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlets available to them.

After everybody had come back downstairs from the dome Kendra presented another digital slide presentation, which was the second half of “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge”—having to do with the solar system—and fielded questions. Everybody was gone by around 8:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy, despite the cloudy sky and rain.