Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Clear skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, May 25th, 2013, 8:30 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the first of his 2 digital slide presentations, “Eclipses,” before an audience that numbered 30 people by 9:00 p.m. In addition, there were 6 people upstairs in the dome where faculty member Dr. Aaron Sigut took charge of the big 25.4cm refractor. By 10:00 p.m. there were some 60 people upstairs and downstairs in the Observatory, when Tony made his second slide presentation.

Graduate students Sebastian Bruzzone and Parshati Patel assisted in the dome and supervised the visitors, respectively. Also present were graduate students Emily McCullough and Ted Rudyk. RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Dave McCarter and Bob Duff, who assisted in the dome. Richard Gibbens and Chris Evans were also there listening to the lecture.

Saturn was a splendid sight in the big 25.4cm refractor. Later in the evening, Ted Rudyk showed visitors the Ring Nebula (M57) in the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) with the nebula filter to enhance contrast. He also showed them globular cluster M13. Bob showed people good views of Saturn in the 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler (66X), 12.5mm Ortho (89X) and 6mm Ortho (186X) eyepieces. The rising full Moon was also viewed in the Dobsonian.

Two girls from Saunders Secondary School asked Bob for a signature to complete their assignment of visiting the Cronyn Observatory for their grade-9 science class. Bob gave them RASC London Centre brochures and introduced them to Emily McCullough. Emily gave the 2 students and one parent from Saunders Secondary School a total of 3 “Star Finder” planisphere and 3 “Moon Gazers’ Guide” cards. Bob also signed a RASC London Centre brochure for a boy from Saunders Secondary School, who was there with his parents. The last visitors were gone by 11:20 p.m. after a very enjoyable and informative evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre