Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Cloudy skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 29th, 2013, 8:30 p.m. Dr. Martin Houde made 2 presentations of his digital slide show, “Submillimetre Astronomy,” before an audience numbering 41 people (27 adults, 13 children and one infant) in an early count, increasing to 53 (36 adults, 16 children and one infant) visitors by the end of the evening. Graduate students Scott Jones and Luis Victorero took charge of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and supervised visitors, respectively. RASC London Centre was represented by Dale Armstrong, Everett Clark and Rob McNeil.

Skies cleared after sunset around 9:30 p.m. and, after viewing the communications tower in south London, Scott directed the big 25.4cm refractor towards Saturn, which made a fine site through the 32mm Erfle (137X) and 18mm Tele Vue Radian (244X) eyepieces. Visitors also viewed the weathervane on the Engineering building and later Saturn and the stars Vega and Arcturus through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian set up on the roof patio with the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). Through the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain, using the 20mm Plossl eyepiece (100X), people looked at the communications tower and then Saturn, the stars Izar and Arcturus, and the globular cluster M13. Dale also gave a talk in the dome about the history of the Cronyn Observatory. There were 6 “Moon Gazers’ Guide” cards and 2 “Star Finder” planispheres given out to visitors. The Observatory was closed down at 11:00 p.m. after an excellent evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre