Mostly cloudy skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, July 6th, 2013, 8:30 p.m. Physics and Astronomy Department computer resource person Henry Leparskas was there early in the evening recording some of the activities with a tripod mounted video camera. Graduate student Allison Hill made her digital slide presentation, ”Stellar Death,” beginning with an audience of just 22 people, increasing to 35 visitors to the Cronyn by the end of the evening. Graduate student Wayne Oswald supervised and counted visitors at the door. Graduate student Alexander de Souza was in charge of the big 25.4cm refractor and gave a brief talk in the dome about the history and technical aspects of the telescope. Alexander later went downstairs into the lecture room and made the slide presentation, “Exploring the Stars,” around 9:35 p.m.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Bob Duff and Dale Armstrong. Dale directed the 25.4cm refractor, with 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) installed, towards the communications tower in south London. Bob supervised some of the visitors viewing through the telescope. Everett set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian on the roof patio with the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X) and 8X50mm finderscope installed, enabling visitor to view the weathervane on the Engineering building. Dale brought out the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain and set it up on the table without the tripod to demonstrate to visitors.
Some light rainfall necessitated closing the dome and the Observatory was closed after the last visitors left around 10:20 p.m. It was an interesting evening despite the clouds and rain and people had the opportunity to ask questions about astronomy, telescopes and observing.
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre