Cloudy skies with damp, hazy weather greeted 23 visitors (15 children and 8 adults / leaders) from the 2nd Lambeth Sparks for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, January 19th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Viraja Khatu presented the digital slide presentation “Constellations” and fielded questions. Viraja followed this with the constellations activity “Make Your Own Constellation / Constellation Detective” which involved the children drawing their own constellations from a given pattern of stars on transparency sheets with magic markers. This activity also included the children matching 4 constellation sketches displayed in a PowerPoint slide with the 4 night sky images provided to them on a laminated sheet.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a brief talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall and the difference between a refractor and reflector telescope, showing them the mirror in the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian. Everett had set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the dome door and Bob supervised as the Sparks viewed the red light on a construction crane behind the Engineering building.
Paul showed the visitors his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as his Moon meteorite sample in a small plastic display case. Paul had placed his lunar meteorite sample display case in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover and he invited visitors to “walk on the Moon.” The visitors were gone by around 7:30 p.m. after and enjoyable evening learning about the constellations and looking through the telescope.