Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Cloudy skies greeted 37 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, August 29th, 2015, 8:30 p.m. Postdoctoral fellow David Stock made his digital slide presentation “Dawn: Exploring New Worlds” before and audience of 28 visitors (including 7 children) by around 8:55 p.m. There were some 37 visitors by the end of the evening.

Graduate student Tony Martinez was telescope operator for the evening with some assistance from graduate student and RASC London Centre member Emily McCullough. RASC London members present included Bob Duff, Paul Kerans, Dale Armstrong, Dave McCarter, Peter Jedicke, and graduate student Emily McCullough. London Centre member Richard Gibbens listened to the slide lecture. Physics and Astronomy Department Computer Resources person and RASC member Henry Leparskas brought cookies and thermoses of coffee and tea, which he set out on a table in the dome.

Dale set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X) inside the dome so as to view out the door towards the white and red flashing lights on the communications tower is south London. Bob set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the dome for demonstration. When the visitors had arrived upstairs after David Stock’s slide presentation, Peter Jedicke gave a talk about the history and technical aspects of the Cronyn Observatory and 25.4cm refractor in the dome. He pointed out that 2015 was the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Cronyn Observatory, October 25th, 1940.

Peter also explained the 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain and 25.4cm Dobsonian telescopes and visitors were invited to view the flashing white and red lights on the communications tower through the Schmidt-Cassegrain. The Cronyn Observatory was shut down beginning around 11:00 p.m. after an interesting and enjoyable evening for the visitors despite the cloudy sky and damp weather which prevented use of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome.