Partly cloudy skies greeted 9 visitors (8 adults and 1 child) of a private group for a birthday celebration with an evening of Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, November 25th, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez presented the digital slide presentation “Big Bang” and fielded questions. Tony followed this with the activity “Constellations”, distributing 8 “Star Finder” planispheres and showing everybody how to assemble and use them.
When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, RASC London Centre member Paul Kerans gave a talk about the history of the Cronyn Observatory and explained the difference between a reflector and refractor telescope, pointing out the Schmidt camera piggy-backed on the big 25.4cm refractor. Tony directed the 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) towards the full Moon and supervised as visitors viewed the Moon through the big telescope. On the roof patio outside the dome Paul showed the visitors the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian reflector telescope and explained how it worked. Paul showed them the Moon and then the Owl Cluster (NGC457) through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Paul showed them an iron meteorite he had brought and there were 6 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews ) pamphlets distributed. The event was over by around 8:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.