Exploring the Stars, London District Catholic School Board Gifted, April 7th, 2014

Cloudy skies and rain greeted 32 visitors (14 students and 18 adults) from the London District Catholic School Board Gifted Grade-7 students for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Monday, April 7th, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation The Small Bodies in Our Solar System and fielded questions. She then introduced the activity Kitchen Comet with the students gathering around the table placed at the front of the lecture room as she made a comet from dry ice and other ingredients. Shannon followed this with the activity Constellations, distributing some 19 Star Finder planispheres to the students and some interested adults and showing them how to assemble them. She used the slide of a Star Finder planisphere and several slides of constellations to show people how to use them.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Since rain ruled out opening the dome, Everett set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the door to the roof patio and directed it towards the weathervane on the Engineering building. 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 and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. Bob then supervised as students and adults viewed the weathervane through the 25.4cm Dobsonian. The event was over by around 8:35 p.m., although some remained a few minutes for rides home.