Cloudy skies with snow on the ground greeted 13 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Monday, December 12th, 2016, 7:00 p.m. Since there was no slide presentation, visitors simply went upstairs into the dome where they were greeted by graduate students Shannon Hicks and Robin Arnason.
Robin was telescope operator in the dome and supervised as visitors climbed the observing ladder to view the lights on the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X). Shannon greeted and talked to visitors in the dome.
RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. Paul set up the observatory’s Orion AstroView 6 (15cm) Newtonian reflector (20mm Plossl eyepiece, 37.5X) inside the dome so as to view out the door to the roof patio. Paul invited visitors to view the lights on the communications tower in south London through the 15cm Newtonian reflector.
Bob talked to visitors and answered questions, explaining some of the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome. Bob also explained how the 15cm Newtonian reflector telescope worked and, in response to an inquiry, the 2 clocks on the east wall of the dome and the difference between Standard and Sidereal Time.
Paul showed the visitors his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as his Moon meteorite sample in a small plastic display case. Paul had placed his lunar meteorite sample display case in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover and he invited visitors to “walk on the Moon.”
Shannon distributed 2 “Star Finder” planispheres to 2 interested boys. The visitors were gone by around 8:30 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes despite the cloudy weather.