Exploring the Stars, University Lab School, April 24th, 2014

Partly cloudy skies greeted 47 visitors (25 children and 22 adults) from the University Lab School for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, April 24th, 2014, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made his digital slide presentation Constellations and then fielded questions. He followed this with the activity Crater Experiment, dropping rocks and pebbles into a plastic tub filled with flour topped with powdered chocolate.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Everett set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the Observatory’s roof patio and directed it towards the weathervane on the Engineering building. Since the recently donated Orion AstroView 6 (15cm f/5) Equatorial Reflector was missing its finderscope, Everett set it up on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 SynScan computerized mount normally used with the Cronyn Observatory’s 90mm Coronado Solar Telescope (rather than the EQ3 mount that came with the Orion AstroView 6). Everett also made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) and Bob directed it towards the communications tower in south London.

Since mostly cloudy skies ruled out celestial observing, Bob supervised visitors viewing through both the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), directed at the weathervane on the Engineering building, and the Orion AstroView 6 reflector (25mm Plossl eyepiece, 30X), directed at the spinning wind speed indicator at the base of the weathervane. Everett divided his time between supervising visitors viewing the tower through the big 25.4cm refractor and helping Bob supervise viewing through the Orion AstroView 6 reflector. Everett also showed visitors an office building downtown and the communications tower through the Orion AstroView 6 reflector. Bob also showed visitors tree tops through the 25.4cm Dobsonian. Everybody was gone by around 8:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of learning about astronomy and viewing through telescopes.