Cloudy skies greeted 39 visitors (23 children and 16 adults) from the Watford Beavers, including both Beavers and Cubs, for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, November 26th, 2014, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “The Earth Moon System” and fielded questions. She followed this with the activity “Constellations,” distributing 26 “Star Finder” planispheres, including 23 to the children in the audience plus 3 more for children unable to be there. Parshati showed everybody how to assemble and use the planispheres, using a slide of a “Star Finder” planisphere and slides of constellations.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff and by Tricia Colvin and Mark Tovey who arrived at the end of the evening. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Bob gave a talk on some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, showing them the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) in his demonstration. He also explained the 2 clocks on the east wall of the dome and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time. Bob demonstrated the telescope’s motor drive, explaining how it tracked the stars moving from east to west across the sky. Everett and Bob set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mmNagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio with Everett directing it towards 2 sprinklers visible in an Engineering building window. Bob supervised as the children and adults viewed through the 25.4cm Dobsonian.
Tricia and Mark arrived at the end of the evening and helped put equipment away. The visitors were gone by around 7:30 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, despite the cloudy skies.