Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Partly cloudy skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, August 3rd, 2013, 8:30 p.m. Graduate student Ethan Luo made 2 presentations of his digital slide show, “How Crazily Can Stars Rotate?” during the course of the evening. Graduate student Dimuthu Hemachandra supervised and counted visitors, totalling 80 people by the end of the evening.

Graduate student Emily McCullough showed a few visitors the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). As darkness set in and sky transparency improved she showed them Vega and another star and then Saturn, which made a fine site when she switched from the 32mm Erfle to the 28mm Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X). RASC London Centre members Dale Armstrong and Bob Duff operated the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain and London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, respectively. RASC London Centre member Richard Gibbens arrived in the lecture room late in the evening.

Dale began by showing people the communications tower through the Schmidt-Cassegrain, using the 26mm Plossl eyepiece (77X), and then the stars Vega, Arcturus, Albireo and Antares. Bob began by showing people the weathervane on the Engineering building through the 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), and then Vega, Saturn, Albireo and Antares. Bob replaced the 17mm Nagler with the 12.5mm Ortho (89X) for greater magnification on Saturn.

An ISS pass occurred on schedule at 9:51 p.m. moving from south to southeast (10—20 degrees above the horizon) before disappearing into the clouds. The dome was closed by around 11:05 p.m. after a successful evening of astronomy, despite the partly cloudy sky.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre