Cloudy skies with occasional rain greeted 6 visitors (3 children and 3 adults) from a private group for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 6:30 p.m. They immediately went upstairs into the dome where RASC London Centre member Everett Clark showed them the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). He also gave them 3 Moon Gazers’ Guide cards.
They then returned downstairs to the lecture room where graduate student Dilini Subasinghe made her digital slide presentation The Basics of Astronomy and answered questions. She then introduced the activity Constellations, distributing 5 Star Finder planispheres and helping the visitors assemble them with Scotch tape. She showed slides of constellations to help them practice using the planispheres. Dilini finished by showing them 4 short videos of bright meteors from Western University's Canadian Automated Meteor Observatory (CAMO).
Everybody then went back upstairs into the dome where Everett talked about the telescopes and then supervised as the visitors viewed the weathervane on the Engineering building through the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), which he had set up just inside the door to the roof patio. The evening pretty well finished up with RASC London Centre member Bob Duff giving a talk about the Cronyn Observatory’s history and the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, explaining the 2 clocks on the east wall and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. The visitors were gone by 7:53 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of astronomy despite the clouds and rain showers.