Clear skies greeted 11 visitors (7 adults and 4 children) of a private family group for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Robin Arnason presented the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Robin followed this with the “Constellations” activity, distributing 9 “Star Finder” planispheres. He was assisted by RASC London Centre member Bob Duff in helping the visitors assemble the planispheres with adhesive tape. Robin showed the slide “Reading a Star Finder” followed by 2 slides of constellations for them to practice using the planispheres.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a brief talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Everett showed the visitors Sirius, the Orion Nebula (M42) and Betelgeuse through the 25.4cm refractor, using the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X). Everett, Bob and Robin talked with the visitors and answered many interesting questions. Bob gave a brief tour of the stars and constellations visible from the roof patio outside the dome.
Everett later set up the London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 88X) on the roof patio for the visitors to view Sirius and the Orion Nebula (M42). The visitors were gone by around 9:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy under clear skies.