Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Clear skies greeted visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, June 28th, 2014, 8:30 p.m. Faculty member Dr. Paul Wiegert made 2 presentations of his digital slide presentation “Constellations”.  Graduate student Wayne Oswald was crowd manager and greeted 23 arrivals by 9:15 p.m., totalling 73 visitors by the end of the evening.

Graduate student Scott Jones was telescope operator for the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome. RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Bob Duff, Steve Imrie, Dale Armstrong, Steve Gauthier and Harold Tutt. London Centre member Eric Clinton was there with his son Ben as visitors. London Centre member Richard Gibbens was also there and listened to the lecture.

Scott and Everett directed the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome towards Saturn, using the setting circles and celestial coordinates from the software “Starry Night” on the computer. They were assisted by graduate student Emily McCullough who was there as a visitor. People enjoyed exceptionally good views of Saturn through the big 25.4cm refractor, with the 32mm Erfle (137X) and 12.5mm Ortho (351X) eyepieces, and later Mars (351X).

On the roof patio outside the dome, Dale operated the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain showing visitors Mars, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece with the 2X Barlow lens (320X) from the Coronado telescope; the double-star Izar and globular cluster M13, using the 15mm Sky-Watcher UltraWide eyepiece (133X); and the “Double-Double” star system Epsilon Lyrae, using the 15mm eyepiece with the 2X Barlow lens (266X). Steve Gauthier, Steve Imrie and Bob Duff took turns operating the RASC London Centre’s Dobsonian, showing visitors Saturn, using the 6mm Ortho eyepiece (186X) and Albireo, Epsilon Lyrae and the Ring Nebula (M57), using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X).

Harold Tutt set up his 80mm Stellarvue Night Hawk refractor with a Vixen alt-azimuth mount on the grassy lawn facing south behind Alumni Hall. Some 50 visitors to the Cronyn Observatory viewed Mars, Saturn and Mizar and Alcor through Harold’s telescope.

The Cronyn Observatory was closed down around 11:28 p.m. after an evening of exceptionally good seeing, especially of Saturn and Mars through the big 25.4cm refractor (12.5mm Ortho eyepiece, 351X) in the dome.