Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Clear skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, June 9th, 8:30 p.m. Dr. Sarah Gallagher made her digital slide presentation, “The Early Days of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory,” twice; the first group included 18 visitors and the second, just 6 people. In all there were an estimated 30—40 visitors at the slide talks and in the dome.

Dr. Carol Jones operated the big 25.4cm refractor, using the Meade 28mm Super Wide Angle eyepiece for a magnification of 157X. Graduate student Abedin Abedin assisted. They were later joined by computer resource staff member Henry Leparskas. Saturn was located in the twilight sky around 9:20 p.m., using celestial coordinates from sky charting software on the computer in the dome. The big telescope remained on Saturn for the rest of the evening.

RASC London Centre member Bob Duff and Abedin set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian and the Cronyn Observatory’s Meade 8-inch (203mm) Model 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on the roof patio. They were joined by Dale Armstrong who took over the Schmidt-Cassegrain. Sarah located Saturn in the Schmidt-Cassegrain, which made an excellent view through the 12.5mm Orthoscopic eyepiece (160X).

In the 25.4cm Dobsonian, Bob showed visitors Saturn, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (67X) and 6mm Orthoscopic (190.5X) eyepieces. He also later tried the new 18mm Tele Vue Radian eyepiece with the 2X Barlow Lens (from the 90mm Coronado H-Alpha solar telescope) for a good view at 127X. Other sky objects observed in the Dobsonian included Albireo, Mizar and Alcor and Mars.

Besides Saturn, Dale showed visitors a number of other sky objects through the Schmidt-Cassegrain, including Mars, Antares, M57, M13 and Epsilon Lyrae. On the walkway in front of the Cronyn Observatory Steve Imrie set up his Orion SkyQuest 8-inch (203mm) Dobsonian and showed visitors Saturn and Mars. Richard Gibbens came upstairs after listening to the slide presentation. Dale called everybody’s attention to a bright unanticipated ISS pass, travelling west to east overhead at 9:45 p.m. The visitors left after a very enjoyable evening under the stars and the Observatory was closed around 11:10 p.m.