Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Clear skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, August 24th, 2013, on Western University’s campus. Graduate student Neven Vulic began the first of 2 presentations of his digital slide show “Supernova Explosions—Are They Cool or What?” around 8:30 p.m. He presented it again at 9:30 p.m. Postdoctoral fellow Elisabetta Micelotta was crowd manager and counted 90 people arriving during the course of the evening.

Graduate student Maryam Tabeshian took charge of the big 25.4cm refractor along with Parshati Patel. RASC London Centre was represented by Dale Armstrong, Bob Duff, Steve Gauthier and Peter Jedicke. London Centre member Richard Gibbens listened to the slide presentation and came up on the roof patio for a while as people observed through telescopes.

Throughout the evening Peter Jedicke and, occasionally, Bob Duff assisted Maryam and Parshati with the big 25.4cm refractor, which, with the 32mm Erfle (137X) eyepiece installed, was first directed at Albireo, then the Ring Nebula (M57) around 10:20 p.m., and finally the waning gibbous Moon rising above the eastern horizon.

Steve Gauthier set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian and showed visitors Saturn, using the 17mm Nagler (66X) and 12.5mm Ortho (89X) eyepieces; Antares and the Nova in Delphinus, using the 17mm Nagler (66X); and the Moon, using the 17mm Nagler (66X) and the 12.5mm Ortho (89X) eyepieces. Bob set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain, and Dale Armstrong operated it throughout the evening, using the 20mm Plossl (100X) eyepiece to show people the communications tower and then Antares. Dale then used the 18mm Tele Vue Radian (111X) eyepiece in the Schmidt-Cassegrain to show people globular cluster M13, the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) and the Nova in Delphinus. Dale also showed a few people M57, M11 and Albireo towards the end of the evening.

Bob called everybody’s attention on the roof patio to very pleasing ISS pass, which began around 8:57 p.m., 10 degrees above the west-northwest horizon, and reached an altitude of 48 degrees in the southwest before vanishing in the southeast. The visitors were gone by 11:20 p.m. and the Observatory was closed down around 11:30 p.m. after a very successful evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre