Clear skies with some hazy clouds greeted 12 visitors (11 students and 1 teacher) from the London Central Secondary School Grade 9—11 classes for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “Galaxies” and then fielded questions.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Bob Duff, Tricia Colvin and Mark Tovey. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. He also explained the 2 clocks on the east wall of the dome and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. Everett operated the big 25.4cm refractor and showed the visitors the one-day-prior-to-full Moon, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) and later swapped in the 18mm Radian (244X) eyepiece for a better view of the Moon, as well as the star Vega. Bob also located the “Double-Double” star system Epsilon Lyrae in the big 25.4cm refractor for the visitors to view.
Tricia and Mark operated the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio outside the dome, showing the visitors the yellow and blue double star Albireo and the Moon. Since the nearly full Moon was dazzlingly bright in the 25.4cm Dobsonian, Bob put the Baader 2-inch Neutral Density filter on the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X) for a more comfortable view for the visitors.
Everett began putting away the accessories for the big 25.4cm refractor around 8:20 p.m. and, with the visitors gone by 8:30 p.m., the Observatory was mostly closed down by 8:35 p.m. after a very enjoyable and informative evening of astronomy.