Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Clouds and rain greeted arrivals at the Cronyn Observatory for the Open House, Saturday, July 27th, 8:30 p.m. Graduate student Luis Victorero began his digital slide presentation, “Exploring the Universe, Life Beyond Our Planet,” around 9:12 p.m., before 3 visitors including 2 students from Western University’s Faculty of Information & Media Studies Master’s Journalism Program who videotaped the presentation. Other graduate students present included Ted Rudyk, who operated the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, Beth Grzema, who unlocked the Observatory, and Sarah Malek. Post doctoral student, Sophia Lianou, was crowd manager. RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff, later joined by Peter Jedicke around 9:00 p.m. By the end of the evening Sophia had counted 9 visitors.

Upstairs in the dome Ted made ready the big 25.4cm refractor and soon swapped out the 52mm Erfle (84X) for the 32mm Erfle (137X) eyepiece. Everett set up the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, with the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), on the Observatory’s roof patio. The sky partly cleared towards the end of Luis’ slide talk. Everett showed visitors the star Arcturus through the 25.4cm Dobsonian. Ted located Saturn in the big 25.4cm refractor. With Ted’s supervision, one of the journalism students was able to image Saturn in the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) with the video camera.

Towards the end of the evening the journalism students interviewed Luis in the lecture room with the title slide of the presentation projected on the screen as a backdrop. The Cronyn Observatory was closed down around 10:25 p.m. after a satisfactory evening of astronomy despite the weather.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre