Exploring the Stars, Private Group, February 10th, 2016

Cloudy, later partly clearing skies, greeted 7 adult visitors of a private group (celebrating a birthday party) for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, February 10th, 2016, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks presented the digital slide presentation “Extra Solar Planets” and fielded questions. Shannon followed this with the activity “Transit Demo”, using the “Transit Demo” model of an extra-solar planetary system. RASC London Centre member Paul Kerans also gave a talk on the meteorites he had brought with him, including an iron meteorite and a stony-iron meteorite, as well as samples of Moon and Mars meteorites in small display cases.

RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Everett Clark. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Shannon gave a talk on the big 25.4cm refractor. The sky partially cleared around 8:30 p.m. and Paul set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio outside the dome and showed the visitors the Orion Nebula (M42). Paul also set up his Nikon 10 X 50mm binoculars on his Orion Parallelogram Mount and tripod inside the dome but did not have time to move it out on to the roof patio.

Shannon and Everett directed the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) in the dome to show the visitors the star Sirius. Shannon, Everett and Paul answered many questions from the enthusiastic visitors. There were 6 “Star Finder” planispheres and 3 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlets distributed. The event ended around 9:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening learning about extra solar planets and viewing through telescopes.