Cronyn Observatory, International Observe the Moon Night, Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Despite mostly cloudy skies, the Cronyn Observatory enjoyed an excellent turn-out of visitors for the International Observe the Moon Night, Saturday, October 12th, 2013, 5:00—10:00 p.m. People enjoyed fun activities, public talks and a panel discussion for space enthusiasts of all ages. Faculty members present included Dr. Jan Cami, Dr. Phil Stooke and computer support Henry Leparskas, who took pictures.

Dr. Phil Stooke presented videos of the Apollo Moon landings. Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Bhairavi Shankar (CPSX/CLRN) joined Dr. Phil Stooke on the panel discussion moderated by graduate student Neil Bhatt. Graduate students conducted various activities, including the Art Contest, supervised by Kendra Kellogg and Ethan Luo; the Impact Cratering Experiment, Tony Martinez; Meteorites and Information Desk, Shannon Hicks and Dilini Subasinghe; and Moon Landing Sites, Parshati Patel and Dimuthu Hemachandra.

Graduate student Ted Rudyk operated the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome showing people the Moon (52mm Erfle eyepiece, 84X) between clouds, throughout the evening. Emily McCullough answered questions. Maryam Tabeshian looked after crowd management and there were other graduate students who assisted.

RASC London Centre was represented by 7 members, including Everett Clark, who arrived early at 3:00 p.m. and set up all 3 telescopes including the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome. Everett and Steve Imrie took charge of the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian and showed people the Moon using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). Everett and Bob Duff also showed people the Moon, between clouds, in the Meade 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain, using the 20mm Plossl eyepiece (100X). Harold Tutt set up his Stellarvue 80mm refractor in the parking lot early in the evening, showing some visitors the Moon. Peter Jedicke and Dave McCarter talked to visitors and Mike Jager also arrived with his family and left early.

"Certificates of Participation" were awarded by the graduate students to people who had observed the Moon through a telescope. There were prizes including the book by Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt, “Return to the Moon” and a Galileoscope. Everett handed out 3 “Star Finder” planispheres. In all it was an excellent evening despite the clouds with an estimated visitor turn-out of around 200 people.