Mostly clear skies greeted 46 visitors (35 children and 11 adults) from the London Mosque Scouts for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Cub Astronomy Badge” and immediately followed this with the “Constellations” activity, distributing some 42 “Star Finder” planispheres and showing everybody how to assemble and use them.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Everett directed the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) in the dome towards the 3-day-prior-to-first quarter crescent Moon and set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the observatory’s roof patio, from which he also shovelled off some snow. Following Bob’s brief talk on the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, Shannon divided everybody into 3 groups to view through the 2 telescopes and have a sky tour. The visitors were delighted to view the Moon in the big 25.4cm refractor and Jupiter in the 25.4cm Dobsonian, while Shannon gave a sky tour showing them how to use their “Star Finder” planispheres to identify the constellations. Some visitors later also viewed the Moon through the 25.4cm Dobsonian.
Towards the end of the evening one adult visitor took pictures of the Moon with his cell phone camera through both telescopes. Everybody was gone by around 8:30 p.m. after a very informative and enjoyable evening of astronomy.