Cloudy skies greeted 38 visitors (21 children and 17 adults) from the London District Catholic School Board Elementary Enrichment Opportunities Program for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, April 8th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “The Earth Moon System” and fielded questions. Shannon followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet”, inviting everybody to the table set up at the front of the lecture room where she made a comet from dry ice and other materials.
RASC London Centre was represented by Mark Tovey, Tricia Colvin and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Shannon invited Bob to give a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Shannon opened the dome and Bob rotated it towards the south. However, the communications tower in south London was obscured by haze and Shannon could not locate it in the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X).
Tricia operated the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece), which was set up inside the dome so as to view out the door and showed visitors the wind turbine on the Engineering building and the compressed gas canister with gauges visible in a window of the Engineering building. The visitors were gone by 8:50 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, despite the cloudy sky.