Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Despite clear daytime weather, clouds rolled in by evening for the Cronyn Observatory Saturday Summer Open House, May 5th, 2012, beginning 8:30 p.m. Astronomy faculty member Dr. Els Peeters showed the Venus transit information slide and then made her digital slide presentation, The PAH Universe, concerning Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons detected in space by spectroscope.

Astronomy faculty member Dr. Jan Cami operated the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome. Five The RASC London Centre members with two telescopes were there including Keith Burr, with his 20.3cm Sky-Watcher Dobsonian; Phil Marusaik, with his 127mm Maksutov; Gaetan Godin, Peter Jedicke and Dave McCarter.

Because of the clouds Jan had to point the big refractor towards the communications tower in south London for most of the evening. Dave McCarter reported seeing the perigee full Moon (largest for 2012) rise below and between the clouds and then disappear entirely until around 10:45 p.m. The star Capella and planet Venus were visible momentarily but not Mars or Saturn. Jan showed some of the later visitors the full Moon through the big 25.4cm refractor, using the 52mm Erfle eyepiece (84X).

Peter Jedicke counted 31 visitors but was disappointed that there were no long discussions of the Super Moon—full Moon at perigee. Closing time was 11:00 p.m. for a very interesting evening of astronomy.