Exploring the Stars, 2nd Thamesford Brownies and Guides, November 4th, 2015

Mostly clear skies with a few clouds later greeted 27 visitors (18 children and 9 adults) from the 2nd Thamesford Brownies and Guides for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, November 4th, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Laura Lenkic presented the digital slide presentation “The Girl Guide Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Laura followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet”, inviting the children and adults to the table set up at the front of the lecture room where she made a comet from dry ice and other materials.

RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a brief talk about the Cronyn Observatory, including some technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor, and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Bob assisted Laura with directing the big 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) towards the yellow and blue double star Albireo. Laura supervised as children and adults climbed the observing ladder to view Albireo through the big 25.4cm refractor. 

On the roof patio outside the dome, Paul directed the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) towards the Andromeda Galaxy (M31).  Paul showed the visitors M31 for a while until Bob took over operating the 25.4cm Dobsonian, while Paul showed them an iron meteorite along with samples of Mars and Moon rocks in small display cases. There was 1 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlet given to one interested man. The visitors were gone by 8:25 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.