Exploring the Stars, Woodstock Girl Guides, March 27th, 2017

As Reported by Paul Kerans

Cloudy skies and rain greeted 26 visitors (14 children and 12 adults / leaders) from the Woodstock Girl Guides for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, March 27th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Viraja Khatu presented the digital slide presentation “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge” with the title slide “The Basics” and fielded questions. Viraja followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet,” making a comet from dry ice and other materials.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Paul Kerans. Light rain ruled out opening the dome. Everett set up the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X) inside the dome so as to view the lights on the communications tower in south London through the door to the roof patio. When the adults arrived upstairs in the dome, Paul gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor and the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes.

Paul also showed the Guides his meteorites, including the chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as the Moon and Mars meteorite samples in small plastic display cases. Paul invited them to “walk on the Moon” by stepping on his lunar meteorite sample display case placed in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover. The visitors were gone by around 8:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, comets, meteorites and telescopes.