Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Clear skies greeted visitors to the last Cronyn Observatory Open House for the 2012 summer season, Saturday, August 25th, 8:30 p.m. Graduate student Allison Hill made her digital slide presentation, “Winds from Supermassive Black Holes,” twice that evening.

Undergraduate student Matt Abado operated the 25.4cm refractor in the dome while undergraduate student Alexander Tettenborn supervised visitors. Henry Leparskas from the Physics & Astronomy Department was also there, taking photographs of the Observatory.

RASC London Centre members Bob Duff and Dale Armstrong set up the 25.4cm Dobsonian and 20.3cm (8-inch) Meade LX-3 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes on the Observatory’s roof patio. Also there were Richard Gibbens, who took in the slide presentation but did not come upstairs, and Roman Dubinski, who appeared later on the roof patio.

The 25.4cm refractor in the dome remained directed towards the one-day-past-first quarter Moon for the entire evening, providing visitors a splendid view through the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X). Dale took charge of the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and showed visitors a variety of objects including Albireo, M57, M27, M13, M15 and Epsilon Lyrae. Bob operated the 25.4cm Dobsonian, showing visitors the Moon and, with Dale’s assistance, the double-star Almach (Gamma Andromeda). Bob also showed them M13, Albireo and Antares in the Dobsonian. There was a bright ISS pass visible to the southwest at 9:38 p.m., which captured people’s attention.

Undergraduate student Alex Tattenborn counted 56 visitors at the presentations and 9 late arrivals for a total of 65 visitors by 9:22 p.m. There were 4 later arrivals bringing the total to 69 visitors by 11:00 p.m. An estimate of 70 visitors was suggested for the evening. The Observatory was closed down shortly after 11:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre