Exploring the Stars, Western University, History, Science & Technology Class, October 24th, 2012

Partly cloudy skies greeted 25 visitors (24 students and 1 instructor) from Western University’s History, Science & Technology class to the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Wednesday, October 24th, 7:00 p.m. Since the lecture room beneath the dome was not available, graduate students Allison Hill and Emily McCullough arranged chairs in the dome to accommodate the visitors for the digital slide presentation.

Because of partly cloudy skies Allison and Emily immediately brought the visitors onto the Observatory’s roof patio to observe the 3-day-past-first quarter gibbous Moon through amateur telescopes. RASC London Centre members Everett Clark and Bob Duff showed them the Moon through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, using 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), and the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain, using the 12.5mm Ortho (160X) eyepiece.

This was followed by Allison’s digital slide presentation, “Astronomy– An Ancient Perspective,” shown on the west wall inside the dome. Emily then distributed 25 “Star Finder” planispheres and showed the visitors how to assemble and use them. (Bob Duff brought a batch of 100 “Star Finder” planispheres from RASC.)

The skies gradually cleared through the evening and there was more observing of the Moon and the star Vega through the 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X), and the Dobsonian. Bob put the 18mm Radian eyepiece (111X) in the Schmidt-Cassegrain for an excellent wide field view of the Moon. He answered questions and discussed the lunar maria and formation of the Moon. Everybody was gone by 8:45 p.m. after a very enjoyable and informative evening.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre