Cloudy skies and light wet snow flurries greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, January 11th, 2014, 7:00 p.m. There were 22 people in the audience by the time graduate student Tony Martinez finished the first of 2 presentations of the digital slide show “Life in the Universe.” There were 4 other visitors who went directly upstairs into the dome and together with other later arrivals this brought the total number to 30 visitors for the evening.
Graduate student Shannon Hicks gave the visitors a tour of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome. RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Peter Jedicke and Bob Duff. Since the wet snow flurries ruled out opening the dome, Everett directed the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) out the door to the roof patio, enabling people to view the weathervane on the Engineering building. Bob talked to several visitors who were from the Planetary Society.
Tony began his second presentation of “Life in the Universe” around 8:20 p.m. This was again well received and questions followed concerning the chances of finding life in the universe. The evening ended with the Planetary Society giving several copies of their quarterly publication, “The Planetary Report” to Tony and Bob. The visitors were gone by around 9:00—9:15 p.m. after an enjoyable and informative evening of astronomy despite the unfavourable weather.