Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Mostly cloudy skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 22nd, 2013, 8:30 p.m. Faculty member Dr. Pauline Barmby began the first of 2 presentations of her digital slide presentation, “The Summer Solstice and the Supermoon,” before and audience of 23 people, which increased to 47 visitors by the end of the evening. Graduate student Maryam Tabeshian was crowd manager.

Graduate student Sarah Malek took charge of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, installing the 52mm Erfle eyepiece (84X), and showing visitors views of the 2013 year’s largest full Moon, appearing intermittently between clouds as it rose in the eastern sky. Occurring on June 23rd, just 2 days past the June 21st summer solstice, this full Moon, or “supermoon,” occured close to lunar perigee.

RASC London Centre member Bob Duff set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian with the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). He was joined by London Centre member Peter Jedicke who gave a telescope talk in the dome after Dr. Pauline Barmby had completed her fist slide presentation. On the roof patio Bob showed visitors the weathervane on the Engineering building and later the Moon as it rose through clouds in the eastern sky. He also showed a few visitors Arcturus later in the evening. Peter talked to visitors beside the Dobsonian for a while as Bob showed young couple how to use their 11.4cm Newtonian reflector on its alt-azimuth mount. Bob also showed them the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain sitting on its base on the table in the storeroom. Bob explained to another visitor standard and sidereal time and the motion of the Earth and the Moon. The visitors were gone by 10:50 p.m. and the Cronyn Observatory was closed down and everybody left by 11:00 p.m. It was an interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy for the visitors despite the mostly cloudy skies.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre