Western Sports Space Camp: Solar Observing at the Cronyn Observatory, August 22nd, 2016

Mostly clear skies with some clouds greeted 14 visitors, including 12 children (ages 8—13) and 2 adult / leaders, from the Western Sports Space Camp, who arrived for solar observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, August 22nd, 2016, 11:15 a.m. (This was shortly after the children from the Boys & Girls Club of London Art Camp had finished their solar observing session and departed from the observatory.)

Professor Jan Cami greeted the visitors from the Western Sports Space Camp with the digital slide presentation “Astronomy at Western” and fielded questions. Bringing the group upstairs into the dome, Jan gave a telescope talk about the big 25.4cm refractor. The children were divided into 2 groups to view through the observatory’s 2 solar filtered telescopes set up on the roof patio outside the dome.

RASC London Centre Paul Kerans and Bob Duff operated the solar filtered telescopes and Physics and Astronomy staff member Henry Leparskas showed visitors the NASA Solar Dynamic Observatory Web site on the dome computer. Paul showed the children the Sun through the 90mm Coronado H-Alpha Solar Telescope (Sky-Watcher EQ5 mount), using the CEMAX 18mm eyepiece (44.4X). Seeing conditions were good with prominences visible on the edge of the Sun as well as sunspots, filaments and granulation noticeable on the solar surface. Bob showed the children sunspots on the Sun through the 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X) with the Kendrick Astro Baader film white light solar filter.

Jan also distributed some 14 solar eclipse glasses (4 were later returned) for the visitors to view the Sun from the roof patio outside the dome. The visitors were gone by around 12:00 noon, after a very interesting and enjoyable slide presentation and views of the Sun through solar filtered telescopes.