Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Clear skies and very cold temperature greeted 28 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Monday, February 23rd, 2015, 7:00 p.m. The event was especially intended for students on campus, with observing only and no slide presentation.

Visitors were greeted by graduate students Dilini Subasinghe and Tony Martinez. RASC London Centre was represented by early arrivals Tricia Colvin and Bob Duff, later joined by Mark Tovey and Peter Jedicke. Ice and snow prevented opening the dome and use of the big 25.4cm refractor. Dilini directed everybody outside where Tricia had set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). Tricia was already showing visitors Jupiter by 7:00 p.m. Tricia then showed them the 2-day-prior-to-first-quarter Moon and was soon joined by Mark. The 25.4cm Dobsonian was redirected to Jupiter once again and Tricia later located Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy much to the delight of the visitors. Many of the students and children were very interested when Tony showed them the sky charting software “Starry Night Pro” on the computer in the dome. Bob talked to several visitors in the dome and explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall.

The 25.4cm Dobsonian was brought indoors before 9:00 p.m. as the visitors were mostly gone due to the cold weather. However, Tony brought out the Observatory’s 10 X 50mm binoculars to show one late arriving couple the Moon and was joined by Bob to show them Jupiter. Everybody departed for home around 9:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of astronomy despite the extremely cold weather.