Cloudy skies with rain and wet snow greeted 43 visitors (22 children and 21 adults) from University Heights Public School Grade-5 / 6 for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded thoughtful questions from the students during and after his slide talk.
RASC London Centre members Everett Clark and Bob Duff assisted in the dome. Everett set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain, directing it out the door to the roof patio towards the lights on the communications tower in south London. After Everett had pointed out the various telescopes mounted on the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, Bob gave a talk about the history of the Observatory and technical aspects of the telescope. He also explained the 2 clocks on the east wall of the dome and the difference between standard and sidereal time.
Since the communications tower was sometimes obscured by rain, Bob showed them the TV screen visible in the Western Student Recreation Centre windows through the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, using the 20mm Plossl eyepiece (100X). Everybody was gone by 8:45 p.m. after a very educational and enjoyable evening of astronomy, despite the unfavourable weather.