Exploring the Stars, 57th Brownies, February 9th, 2016

Cloudy skies and occasional snow flurries greeted 17 visitors (12 children and 5 adults, including 2 leaders) from the 57th Brownies for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, February 9th, 2016, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits”, showing just a single slide on how a telescope worked, with the Brownies assembling 12 simple telescopes from small reusable kits.

Everybody went upstairs into the dome around 7:00 p.m. RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans, Charlene Kerans and Everett Clark. Paul gave a talk on some of the history of the Cronyn Observatory and the workings of the big 25.4cm refractor. Since it was cloudy and snowing the dome remained closed. The London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) was set up inside the dome door to the roof patio and Everett directed it so as to show the Brownies some bottles on a shelf in a top floor window of the Engineering building.

Paul brought 2 meteorites, an iron-nickel and a stony-iron meteorite, and made a small presentation. Charlene and Everett both fielded questions and helped with the telescopes. There were 2 “Star Finder” planispheres and 7 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlets distributed. The event began around 6:15 p.m. because of weather conditions and finished around 7:50 p.m., after a very enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes despite the cloudy, snowy weather.