Exploring the Stars, Northdale Central Public School, February 4th, 2015

Cloudy skies greeted 21 visitors (13 children and 8 adults) from the Northdale Central Public School (Dorchester) Grade-6 class for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, February 4th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe made the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Dilini followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet”, inviting the students to the table set up at the front of the lecture room where she made a comet from dry ice and other materials.

RASC London Centre was represented by Mark Tovey, Tricia Colvin and Bob Duff. Mark set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the door leading to 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 and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. He also demonstrated the 25.4cm Dobsonian and explained the difference between a reflector and refractor telescope. Since cloudy skies and snow on the roof ruled out opening the dome, Mark supervised as the visitors viewed the wind turbine on the Engineering building through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), set up just inside the door leading to the roof patio outside the dome. The visitors were gone by 8:30 p.m. after an interesting and enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, despite the cloudy skies.