Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, March 9th, 2013

The skies were partly cloudy for the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, March 9th, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Allison Hill made the slide presentation, “Mars,” and included a short video of the JPL Curiosity Rover landing on Mars, August 6th, 2012. She followed this with a second presentation, “Alien Life in the Universe.” There were some 59 visitors (children and adults) for Allison’s first presentation, increasing to 72 visitors by the end of the evening.

Upstairs in the dome, a journalism student from Fanshawe College recorded interviews with RASC London Centre Bob Duff and graduate student Alexander DeSouza and then went downstairs to see the rest of Allison’s presentation, including the Curiosity Rover Mars landing video. Alexander showed visitors Jupiter through the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X). Jupiter was occasionally obscured by clouds moving in from the west and towards the end of the evening Bob swapped in the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) for a better view.

Out on the roof patio, Bob showed visitors views of the weathervane on the Engineering building through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), and redirecting the telescope towards Jupiter when the clouds temporarily cleared. RASC London Centre members Peter Jedicke and Chris Fleming arrived later. Bob showed 2 visitors the Orion Nebula (M42) in the 25.4cm Dobsonian as did Alexander who also used the Dobsonian later in the evening. Peter identified the locations of Jupiter’s 4 Galilean moons using the “Starry Night” sky charting software on the computer in the dome. The visitors were gone by around 9:00 p.m. with some giving thanks for an enjoyable and interesting evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre