Cloudy skies and light rain greeted 52 visitors (29 children and 23 adults) from Northdale Central Public School (Dorchester) Grade-6 class for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Monday, January 13th, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe made the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and this was followed by questions. Dilini then brought everybody upstairs into the dome.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Since rain ruled out opening the dome, Bob gave a talk at some length about the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. He turned on the telescope motor drive, explaining how it tracked stars as they moved across the sky, and briefly rotated the dome.
Everett had set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the door to the roof patio and Bob supervised as children and adults eagerly lined up to view the weathervane on the Engineering building. Everett talked to visitors and demonstrated the big 25.4cm refractor to one interested man with 2 young boys after everybody else had left.
Dilini gave 19 “Secrets of the Night Sky” sky charts put out by CSA (Canadian Space Agency) to interested children. Everybody was gone by around 8:30 p.m. after an interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy despite the unfavourable weather.