Cloudy skies and damp weather greeted a “Student group” of 6 Western University students to the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “Extra Solar Planets” and answered questions. Shannon then invited the group up to the table set up at the front of the lecture room for the activity “Kitchen Comet”, making a comet out of dry ice and other materials.
RASC London Centre was represented by Tricia Colvin, Bob Duff and Mark Tovey. Tricia arrived around 6:15 p.m. and set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain (20mm Plossl eyepiece, 100X) and London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside dome so as to view out the door. Bob gave a talk about the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) to help demonstrate, and also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Bob also talked about the 25.4cm Dobsonian and the 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain as reflector telescopes.
The visitors were able to view the TV screen visible through the Western Student Recreation Centre windows in the 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain and wind turbine on the Engineering building through the 25.4cm Dobsonian. The students were very interested and asked questions about the telescopes. The visitors were gone by around 8:15 p.m. after an enjoyable evening about astronomy.