Exploring the Stars, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School, February 26th, 2013

Cloudy skies with wet snow flurries greeted 12 (9 children and 3 adults) visitors from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School to the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, 7:00 p.m. The children included six Grade-9 and two Grade-11 students plus one elementary school student. The 3 adults included one teacher and 2 parents.

Graduate student Parshati Patel made the first of 2 digital slide presentations “Mars” and there were thoughtful questions from the students and adults present. She followed this with her second presentation, “Seeing the Universe,” which was about telescopes.

Bringing the group upstairs into the dome Parshati demonstrated the big 25.4cm refractor with the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). However, the dome remained closed because of the wet snow flurries. Parshati also explained the 2 clocks on the wall and Standard / Sidereal Time and RASC London Centre member Bob Duff demonstrated how the rotation of the Earth and its revolution around the Sun made necessary Sidereal Time. Bob directed the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) from inside the dome door to the roof patio towards the red and white lights on the communications tower in south London. The lights were barely visible through the haze. Everybody was gone by 9:00 p.m. after an interesting evening of astronomy despite the unfavourable weather.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre