Cloudy skies with some light snow greeted 34 visitors (including 4 children) to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, January 28th, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented her digital slide presentation “Our Connection to the Cosmos” before an audience of 8 visitors and fielded questions.
Graduate student Robin Arnason was telescope operator for the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, which remained closed because of the snowy weather. RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans, Bob Duff, Peter Jedicke, Dale Armstrong, Tricia Colvin and Mark Tovey.
There were 4 amateur telescopes set up inside the dome. The observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (12.5mm eyepiece, 160X) was set up on display in the dome along with the Orion 6-inch (15cm) Newtonian reflector (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 29X), which was set up on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 computerized mount. The observatory’s second 20.3cm Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain was set up without its tripod on the table near the window so as to show visitors the red light above the north campus buildings. The London Centre’s 25.cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) was also set up inside the dome door so that visitors could view the wind turbine on the Engineering building.
Paul showed the visitors his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as his Moon and Mars meteorite samples in small plastic display cases. Paul had placed his lunar meteorite sample display case in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover so he could invite visitors to “walk on the Moon.” Paul also brought his Meteorite and Impactite collection is a small black case. There were 4 “Star Finder” planispheres distributed including 3 given out by Everett and one by Paul.
The last visitors were gone by around 8:45 p.m. and Dale Armstrong set up his camera and tripod and took pictures, with an off-camera flash and some coloured gels, of the big refractor in the dome, including an excellent picture with Robin, Everett, Mark, Peter and Bob standing in front of the big telescope. The observatory was closed down a little after 9:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening for the visitors learning about astronomy, meteorites and telescopes.