Exploring the Stars, Thamesford 4-H Club, March 7th, 2017

Partly cloudy, later cloudy skies greeted 22 visitors (15 children and 7 adults / leaders) from the Thamesford 4-H Club, for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, March 7th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Jeff Vankerkhove presented the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Jeff followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet,” making a comet from dry ice and other materials.

RASC London Centre member Bob Duff made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and, together with Jeff, set up the London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian on the roof patio outside the dome. Jeff operated the 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) showing the visitors the 2-day-past-first quarter gibbous Moon through hazy clouds and, later, the red lights on the communications tower in south London after then sky completely clouded out. Bob operated the 30.5cm Dobsonian (26mm Tele Vue Plossl eyepiece, 58X) and showed them the Moon and, later, a red light on the construction crane behind the Engineering building. Bob also gave a talk about the Cronyn Observatory and the 25.4cm refractor in the dome. The visitors were gone by around 8:15 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes.