Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Clear skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, September 14th, 2013, on Western University’s campus. Graduate student Parshati Patel began her digital slide presentation “Smaller Bits of the Solar System” around 8:00 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe directed the 25.4cm refractor in the dome towards the Moon, with the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) installed. She counted 14—15 visitors during the course of the evening.

Among RASC London Centre members, Bob Duff arrived early, followed shortly by Rob McNeil. Rob brought his Williams Optics 72mm refractor, which he mounted on the Observatory’s SkyWatcher EQ5 German Equatorial mount—almost identical to the same mount he had at home. Using a 20mm eyepiece and 5X Tele Vue Powermate Barlow Lens, for a magnification of 100X, he got a nice sharp view of the 2-day-past First Quarter Moon. The 72mm refractor remained tracking the Moon on the SkyWatcher EQ5 mount throughout the evening.

Other RASC London Centre members who showed up included Steve Gauthier, Peter Jedicke, accompanied by Mike Flegel, and Dale Armstrong. Throughout the evening Peter Jedicke and, occasionally, Bob Duff assisted with the big 25.4cm refractor. Peter replaced the 32mm Erfle (137X) eyepiece with the 52mm Erfle (84X) with the 2-inch Baader Neutral Density filter installed for a sharp comfortable view of the Moon. Bob installed the 18mm Tele Vue Radian (244X) eyepiece with the 1.25-inch Baader Neutral Density filter, for a good view of the Moon at higher magnification.

Bob set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian. Steve installed the 8 X 50mm finderscope and 17mm Nagler (66X) eyepiece on the Dobsonian with the 12.5mm Ortho (89X) eyepiece on standby. Throughout the evening Steve showed people the Moon (66X) and Albireo (89X and 66X), the Nova in Delphinus (66X) and M13 (66X). Dale Armstrong operated it throughout the evening, using the 20mm Plossl (100X) eyepiece to show people the Moon, Izar, Gamma Delphini and the Ghost Double, Eta Cassiopeia and Gamma Andromeda.

The visitors were gone by 10:00 p.m. and the Observatory was closed down after a very successful evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre