Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Clear skies with some hazy clouds greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 30th, beginning 8:30 p.m. Peter Jedicke gave an introductory talk about Hume Cronyn the history of the Observatory. Dr. Martin Houde made his digital slide presentation on, “Submillimetre Astronomy.” This was followed at 9:30 p.m. by a live Webcast of the Helen Sawyer Hogg Lecture at the RASC GA in Edmonton, featuring Dr. Jocelyn Bell, who as a graduate student at Cambridge University, England, was a key figure in the discovery of the first pulsars in 1967. About 20 visitors enjoyed Jocelyn Bell’s presentation, “Does the World End in 2012? Astronomical Evidence.” (Dave and Angela Clark were at the GA and Angela appeared in one of the audience shots.)

RASC London Centre members Dale Armstrong, Everett Clark, Bob Duff and Peter Jedicke assisted in the dome while Richard Gibbens listened to the presentations in the lecture room. Some 23 visitors soon increased to 50 or more, some going directly upstairs into the dome.

Graduate student Scott Jones and Bob directed the big 25.4cm refractor, with the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X) towards Saturn, which made a pleasing site for visitors, after focusing. Bob, Everett and Dale set up the Observatory’s Meade 8-inch (203mm) LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain and the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian outside the dome on the roof patio.

Dale took over the Dobsonian, showing visitors the Moon, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (67X); and Mars and Saturn; using the 6mm Orthoscopic eyepiece (190.5X). Bob showed visitors the Moon in the Schmidt-Cassegrain, with the 18mm Radian eyepiece (111X) giving the most pleasing view.

They then switched telescopes with Dale operating the Schmidt-Cassegrain and showing people the double star Izar (Epsilon Bootes), using the 12.5mm Orthoscopic eyepiece (160X); and Antares and the double star Cor Carolli (Alpha Canes Venatici), using the 18mm Radian eyepiece (111X). Bob showed visitors Saturn (190.5X) and the orange and blue double star Albireo (67X) in the Dobsonian. The Observatory was closed down shortly after 11:00 p.m. It was a very successful evening astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre