Mostly cloudy skies greeted 28 visitors (14 children and 14 adults) from the London Waldorf School, Grade 6 class, for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, January 18th, 2016, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe presented the digital slide presentation “The Earth & Moon” and fielded questions. Dilini followed this with the activity “Constellations”, distributing 19 “Star Finder” planispheres and showing the visitors how to assemble them with transparent adhesive tape. She then showed the visitors the slide “Reading a Star Finder”, followed by several constellations slides to help them learn how to use the planispheres. RASC London Centre member Paul Kerans also made a presentation on meteorites, showing the visitors 2 iron / nickel meteorites along with samples of Mars and Moon rocks in small display cases for their inspection.
RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. Paul directed the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome towards the Moon, visible through hazy clouds, and also set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian on the roof patio. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk about the Cronyn Observatory and the big 25.4cm refractor. The visitors enjoyed views of the 2-day-past-first quarter gibbous Moon visible through hazy clouds in the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) and 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Paul also showed them the Orion Nebula (M42) through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (66X). The visitors were gone by around 8:10 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of astronomy despite the hazy clouds.