Exploring the Stars, Twin Elm Adventurers, October 27th, 2015

Cloudy skies greeted 22 visitors from the Twin Elm Adventurers for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, October 27th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Laura Lenkic presented the digital slide presentation “The Small Bodies in Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Laura followed this with the activity “Constellations”, distributing 22 “Star Finder” planispheres to the group and helping everybody assemble them with transparent adhesive tape. She then showed them the slide “Reading a Star Finder”, followed by 8 constellations slides, to help them learn how to use the planispheres.

RASC London Centre member Bob Duff opened the dome and directed the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) towards the flashing red and white lights on the communications tower in south London. He also set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the door to the roof patio. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of big 25.4cm refractor and the attached Schmidt camera and Cassegrain reflector telescope. He explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Bob also showed them the 25.4cm Dobsonian and explained that it was a reflector telescope.

Laura supervised as the visitors climbed the observing ladder to view the flashing lights on the communications tower through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Bob moved the 25.4cm Dobsonian out on to the roof patio, with the assistance of a visitor, and showed everybody the wind turbine on the Engineering building, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). The visitors were gone by around 8:45 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes, despite the clouds.