Exploring the Stars, Ryerson Public School, April 16th, 2013

Hazy clouds with some clear sky greeted 53 visitors (28 children and 25 adults) from the Ryerson Public School combined grade-6 classes for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, 7:00 p.m. The evening had begun with just 47 people in the lecture room, increasing the 53 visitors by 8:00 p.m.

Emily brought everybody upstairs 5 minutes after getting started to view the two-day-prior-to first quarter Moon through the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). On the Observatory’s roof patio, RASC London Centre member Bob Duff also showed them the Moon through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). Seeing the Moon was difficult through the thin hazy clouds in the bright sky. Everybody then went back downstairs and Emily made the digital slide presentation, “Our Messy Solar System.”

RASC London Centre member Dave McCarter arrived around 7:25 p.m. and began searching for Jupiter in the bright sky with the 10 X 50mm binoculars. Dave and Bob tried locating Jupiter in the big 25.4cm refractor, with Dave using the setting circles and coordinates found on the computer. Emily brought the group upstairs after her slide presentation and was soon showing everybody Jupiter through the 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Bob showed them the Moon in the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler, 66X), which appeared brighter with more contrast in the now deeper twilight sky. One teacher viewed Jupiter in the Dobsonian with the 6mm Ortho eyepiece (186X).

An expected ISS pass, beginning at 9:11 p.m. in the northwest and travelling low in the northern sky to the northeast, was obscured by clouds. Everybody was gone by 9:20 p.m. after expressing their thanks for a very enjoyable and educational evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre