Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Cloudy skies greeted 11 visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House on Saturday, January 12th, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., as graduate student Parshati Patel made her brief digital slide presentation, “Oddities in the Solar System.” More people arrived, increasing the number visitors to 18 during the first slide presentation, and by the end of the evening there were 30 visitors in all. Parshati made her presentation 3 times in the lecture room and once more upstairs in the dome on her laptop computer before 2 interested visitors.

Upstairs in the dome graduate student Ted Rudyk showed visitors dim views of Jupiter, which appeared occasionally through hazy clouds, in the 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). On the Observatory’s roof patio graduate student Emily McCullough also showed them Jupiter in the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). RASC London Centre member Bob Duff assisted and was later joined by Peter Jedicke. During the course of the evening both Ted Rudyk and Peter Jedicke looked up items on the computer in the dome, including the configuration of Jupiter’s moons.

Towards the end of the evening the clouds thinned out sufficiently for the remaining visitors to see the cloud belts and 4 moons of Jupiter in the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). The view was less clear in the 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). The visitors were gone and the Observatory was closed down around 9:50 p.m. after an interesting evening of astronomy with the hopes of clearer skies for future open houses.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre