Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Some hazy clouds with later clear skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, May 10th, 2014, 8:30 p.m. Professor Martin Houde made his digital slide presentation Submillimetre Astronomy twice, first at 8:30 p.m. and again at 10:00 p.m. Graduate student Abedin Abedin was crowd manager. There were about 12—15 people in the dome around 9:08 p.m. There were 12 people in the dome and 18 in the lecture room around 10:14 p.m. for Professor Martin Houde’s second slide presentation. People came and went for an estimated total number of 49 visitors for the evening.

Graduate student Emily McCullough was telescope operator and showed visitors splendid sights of Jupiter and Saturn through the big 25.4cm refractor (18mm Radian eyepiece, 244X). RASC London Centre was represented by Steve Imrie and Bob Duff, later joined by Peter Jedicke, Dale Armstrong and Everett Clark. RASC London Centre member Richard Gibbens was also there and listened to the lecture. Steve, Bob and Peter took turns operating the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian showing visitors the Moon and Jupiter, using the 17mm Nagler (66X) and 6mm Ortho (186X) eyepieces, and also Mars and Saturn (186X). Dale took charge of the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain and showed visitors the Moon, using the 26mm Plossl (77X), and the Moon again as well as Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, using the Sky-Watcher UltraWide 15mm eyepiece (133X). Everett set up the Orion AstroView 6 (15cm f/5) Equatorial Reflector (recently donated to Western’s Physic’s & Astronomy Department) on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 SynScan computerized mount since it was missing its finderscope. He eventually polar aligned it using the star Castor and showed visitors Castor, Jupiter and the Moon using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (60X).

An Iridium flare was also observed at 10:07 p.m. high in the east northeast. The visitors were gone by around 11:20 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.