Exploring the Stars, Masonville Cub Scouts, February 5th, 2015

Clear skies and cold weather greeted 26 visitors from the 77th Masonville Cub Scouts for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. There were 20 children—including 19 Cubs—and 6 adults for a total of 26 visitors. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “The History of Space Exploration” and fielded questions. Parshati followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits”, with the 19 Cubs assembling 16 small telescopes from reusable kits.

RASC London Centre was represented by Tricia Colvin, Mark Tovey, and Bob Duff. Astronomy 2021 student Mike Labiak was also there as a volunteer. Tricia acquired Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy with the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) set up on the roof patio outside the dome. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Bob gave a talk about the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece for demonstration. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Snow and possibly ice prevented opening the dome and the Cubs lined up to view Comet Lovejoy through the 25.4cm Dobsonian, supervised by Tricia, assisted by Mark. After everybody had viewed Comet Lovejoy, the 25.4cm Dobsonian was redirected and Mark showed them Jupiter high in the eastern sky. Jupiter—with its Galilean moons and colourful cloud belts—made a fine sight in the 25.4cm Dobsonian, through the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). The visitors were gone by 9:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable and informative evening learning about astronomy, space exploration and telescopes.