Cloudy skies with wet snow flurries greeted 50 visitors (26 children and 24 adults) from St. Kateri Catholic School (Grades 4/5/6) for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Parshati followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits”, with the children assembling 18 small telescopes from reusable kits.
RASC London Centre was represented by Tricia Colvin and Bob Duff, later joined by Mark Tovey. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Bob gave a talk about the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor telescope and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Parshati opened and then closed the dome for demonstration but use of the big 25.4cm refractor was ruled out because of possible snow flurries.
Mark supervised as the children and adults lined up to view the wind turbine on the engineering building through the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), which Tricia had set up inside the dome and facing out the roof patio door, earlier in the evening. The children took the small telescopes they had assembled in the activity “Telescope Kits” out on the roof patio outside the dome and Parshati supervised as they focused them on the Engineering building. Tricia and Bob talked to some of the visitors in the dome. Most all the visitors were gone by around 9:15 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes, despite the cloudy, snowy weather.