Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Mostly cloudy skies greeted some 33 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Monday, February 22nd, 2016, 7:00 p.m. They were welcomed by graduate student Dilini Subasinghe and, since there was no slide presentation, were directed upstairs into the dome.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Tricia Colvin, Paul Kerans, Peter Jedicke, Steve Gauthier and Bob Duff. Graduate student Shannon Hicks was telescope operator early in the evening and changed places with Dilini around 8:00 p.m. Shannon directed the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) in the dome to show visitors the red lights on the communications tower in south London. Shannon later directed the 25.4cm refractor towards the rising full Moon, just before Dilini took over.

On the roof patio outside the dome, Tricia Colvin showed visitors the star Rigel, the Orion Nebula (M42) and the Moon with the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Paul Kerans helped his young niece with her alt-azimuth mounted Celestron 70mm refractor to view and show visitors the communications tower, M42, Jupiter and the Moon.

A few visitors were shown the astronomy software program “Stellarium” on the dome computer and Everett reported that one “Star Finder” planisphere, 3 “Moon Gazers’ Guide” cards and 7 “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews [2015]) pamphlets were distributed with the visitors gone by around 9:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of astronomy.