Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Cloudy skies greeted visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, July 12th, 2014, 8:30 p.m. Faculty member Dr. Jan Cami made 3 presentations of the digital slide presentation “Orbits: The Motion of Planetary Bodies”.  Graduate student Mat Abado was crowd manager and counted 53 people by 8:52 p.m. with an estimated total of around 70 visitors by 10:25 p.m.

Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe was telescope operator and directed the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome towards the communications tower in south London. Throughout the evening Dilini supervised visitors from the top of the observing ladder as they climbed up to view the communications tower through the 32mm eyepiece (137X) in the big 25.4cm refractor.

RASC London Centre was represented by Bob Duff, Dale Armstrong, Peter Jedicke, Mark Tovey and Everett Clark. On the roof patio Dale set up the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X) and showed visitors the communications tower in south London and later the television screen visible through the windows in the Western Student Recreation Centre. Bob and Mark set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) and Bob spent much of the evening showing visitors the wind turbine on the roof of the Engineering building. Everett borrowed Bob’s green laser pointer and used it to help explain how the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome worked.

Most visitors were gone from the dome by around 10:40 p.m. and the Observatory was closed down by around 11:00 p.m. after an enjoyable and informative evening of astronomy and telescopes despite the clouds.