Cronyn Observatory, International and Exchange Students, July 17th, 2014

Partly cloudy skies greeted 76—later increasing to 84—International and Exchange Students to the Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, July 17th, 2014: 9:00 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel showed digital slides and discussed the Cronyn Observatory and astronomy courses at Western University as well as organizations such as the RASC London Centre, the Space Society of London (SSoL), the Canadian Lunar Research Network (CLRN) and the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX). Parshati made her presentation twice.

RASC London Centre was represented by Dale Armstrong, Everett Clark, Bob Duff, Peter Jedicke and Harold Tutt. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome Bob gave a talk about the history and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Everett took charge of the big 25.4cm refractor for the evening and showed the students splendid views of Saturn through the 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X).

On the roof patio Dale set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain and showed the students Mars, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece and 2X Barlow lens from the Coronado telescope (320X); Albireo, using the 15mm Sky-Watcher UltraWide eyepiece and 2X Barlow lens (266X); and M13, using the 15mm Sky-Watcher eyepiece (133X). Peter operated the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, showing the students Saturn, Mars and Albireo, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X); and Saturn again, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (89X). Harold set up his 80mm Stellarvue Nighthawk refractor with a Vixen alt-azimuth mount on the grassy lawn facing south behind Alumni Hall. A long line of students viewed Mars, Saturn and Mizar and Alcor through Harold’s telescope. Clouds interfered occasionally with observing.

The organizer of the student group indicated that the event was supposed to finish at 10:30 p.m. and so everybody began finishing up observing around 10:35 p.m., with the dome closed down by 11:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.