Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cloudy skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, March 31st, 7:00 p.m.  Graduate student Tyler Desjardins began the digital slide presentation, Cosmic Train Wreck: When Galaxies Collide, before 18 people, with more arriving for a total of 47 visitors by the time he had finished and was answering questions.  

Upstairs in the dome RASC London Centre member Bob Duff explained the technical aspects and history of the big 25.4cm refractor.  He answered questions and, in response to a visitor’s inquiry, explained Standard and Sidereal time with regards to the two clocks on the east wall.  He also explained the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian set up for demonstration inside the dome.  Since the visitors wanted to view through the big telescope, Bob directed the 25.4cm refractor towards the red and white lights on the communications tower in south London and invited them to climb the observing ladder for a view through the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X).  RASC London Centre member Peter Jedicke arrived at 8:30 p.m.

  Tyler made a second presentation before a group of 11 visitors and, while not recalling precisely how many people arrived after his first presentation, thought that only 2 people remained behind after the first presentation for the second.  There were 2 more people who arrived much later and this suggests a total of 58 visitors (47 – 2 + 11 + 2 = 58).

Despite the clouds it was an enjoyable evening for the guests and many will no doubt return for a Cronyn Observatory Open House under clear skies.  Everybody was gone by around 9:00 p.m.