Exploring the Stars, 3rd Lambeth Brownies, February 6th, 2017

Mostly cloudy skies greeted 37 visitors (21 children and 16 adults / leaders) from the 3rd Lambeth Brownies for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, February 6th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “Constellations” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the “Constellation” activity, distributing 37 “Star Finder” planispheres and helping the Brownies assemble them with adhesive tape. She then showed them how to use the planispheres.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Paul Kerans. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Paul gave a brief talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, which remained closed due to the cloudy weather. He pointed out that there were 5 telescopes, including the Schmidt camera and the Cassegrain reflector, as well as the 2 finderscopes, all piggybacked on the big 25.4cm refractor. Everett set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mmNagler eyepiece) on the roof patio outside the dome and showed the Brownies the red light on top of the construction crane behind the Engineering building. The 3-day-past-first quarter gibbous Moon was obscured by clouds and glimpsed only a few times, and was not viewed by the visitors through the 25.4cm Dobsonian.

Paul had set up the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (20mm Plossl eyepiece, 100X) inside the dome so as to view out the door to the roof patio and he supervised as the Brownies viewed the TV screen visible in the windows of the Western Sports & Recreation Center. Paul then showed the visitors his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as his Moon and Mars meteorite sample in their small plastic display cases. The visitors were gone by around 7:45 p.m., after an enjoyable evening of astronomy.