Cloudy skies greeted 26 visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Saturday Summer Open House, May 12th, 2012, beginning 8:30 p.m. Graduate student Shokoofeh Nourbakhsh made the digital slide presentation, Constellations, before the initial group of 20 visitors. They were all smiles when they came upstairs into the dome, excited to see the telescope.
Since it was cloudy, Graduate student Emily McCullough showed them the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X). Some children also viewed through the finderscope. Unfortunately, no stars or planets were visible and it was raining by the time they closed the dome. Emily reported 26 visitors, including 2 families (3 parents and 3 children), 10 high school students accompanied by 2 adults, one other adult and 2 undergraduate students.
Emily and Shokoofeh had Starry Night running on the dome computer for satellite research purposes. They also showed visitors Web sites for looking up ISS passes, etc. The Venus Transit slide is now the background on the computer in the dome and this was thought easier to leave up rather than having it as a presentation each time until June.
The visitors were gone by around 10:00 p.m. Peter Jedicke represented the RASC London Centre and a light rain started as he left, before 10:30 p.m. when the Observatory was closed. Everybody seemed happy with the visit despite the clouds and several visitors were excited by the prospect of returning under clear skies.
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre