Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Clouds cleared away to clear skies for the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday evening, August 18th, 8:30 p.m. Graduate student Ghazal Farhani made her digital slide presentation, “Telescopes in Space,” before visitors who numbered 33 by 8:45 p.m., with 3 more arrivals going directly upstairs into the dome shortly thereafter. The estimated total number of visitors by the end of the evening was 50, possibly 55. However, graduate student Hoda Rashedi counted 63 people by 9:45 p.m.

Post-doctoral fellow Dr. David Stock operated the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, directing it towards Saturn early in the evening and later the Ring Nebula (M57) and then the orange and blue double star Albireo. Graduate student Hoda Rashedi supervised visitors and undergraduate student William Choi also assisted.

RASC London Centre members present included Keith Burr, Bob Duff, Dale Armstrong, Peter Jedicke and Steve Imrie. Keith set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian and, together with Bob, the Observatory’s Meade 8-inch (203mm) LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain on the roof patio. Peter assisted David Stock with the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome.

Dale took charge of the Schmidt-Cassegrain and spent some time showing people the double-star Izar (Epsilon Bootes), before moving to M13, the Wild Duck Cluster (M11) and the Dumbbell Nebula (M27). Keith showed a few visitors Saturn in the 25.4cm Dobsonian, before the planet descended behind the Engineering building. Bob spent some time showing people Albireo, M57 and M13 in the Dobsonian. An Engineering graduate student, Matthew Tymchyshyn, showed several people M31, Epsilon Lyrae and the Double Cluster through his hand held 10 X 50mm binoculars. The observatory was closed down shortly after 11:00 p.m. after a very successful evening of astronomy slide presentation and observing.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre