Mostly clear skies greeted some 70 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, April 11th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe made the digital slide presentation “Mars” and fielded questions. Graduate students Tony Martinez and Emily McCullough worked in the dome. Western’s Physics and Astronomy Department computer resources person Henry Leparskas was also there.
RASC London Centre was represented by Tricia Colvin, Mark Tovey and Bob Duff, later joined by Peter Jedicke. London Centre member Richard Gibbens was also there and listened to the slide lecture. Bob counted 40 people in the slide lecture around 7:08 p.m. and Peter later counted 55 in the lecture room and dome. The total for the evening is estimated to be around 70 visitors.
Tony, Peter and Bob showed visitors Venus and Jupiter through the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Tricia operated the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) and showed visitors Jupiter. (Earlier in the evening Emily had tried to display an image on a laptop computer from the Observatory’s Celestron NexImage 5 Solar System Imager, installed on the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian.) Mark and Tricia set up Mark’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Celestron CPC 800 GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain and Emily showed people Venus through this telescope. People observed an Iridium flare just after 9:00 p.m. The Observatory was being closed down by around 9:30 p.m. after a very interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy.