Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, May 17, 2014

Partly cloudy skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, May 17th, 2014, 8:30 p.m. Professor Els Peeters made her digital slide presentation Carbon and Our Cosmic Roots. There were 28 people in the lecture room by 8:45 p.m. and a total of 45 visitors by the end of the evening during which the slide presentation was made twice.

Postdoctoral fellow Sofia Lianou was crowd manager but she also assisted Professor Jan Cami who was telescope operator in the dome. RASC London Centre members Everett Clark, Steve Imrie and Bob Duff set up amateur telescopes on the roof patio outside the dome. RASC London Centre member Richard Gibbens was also there and listened to the lecture. Since it was cloudy, Professor Jan Cami and Everett demonstrated the big 25.4cm refractor and then directed it towards Jupiter in the western sky as clouds cleared around 9:30 p.m. Jupiter, Mars and Saturn were all pleasing sights for the visitors in the 25.4cm refractor, using the 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X).

Everett set up the Orion AstroView 6 (15cm f/5) Equatorial Reflector (recently donated by a student to Western’s Physic’s & Astronomy Department) on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 SynScan computerized mount and installed the 6 X 30mm finderscope brought by Professor Jan Cami. Since rain seemed imminent, Everett set up the Orion Reflector (10mm Plossl eyepiece, 75X) inside the dome door to the roof patio, directing it towards the communications tower and, when haze obscured the tower, towards the TV screen displaying weather information through the window of Western University’s Student Recreation Centre. When the sky cleared around 9:30 p.m. he took the Orion Reflector outside on the roof patio and showed visitors Jupiter, using the 10mm Plossl eyepiece (75X), and Mars, using the 6mm Ortho (125X) and 10mm Plossl (75X) eyepieces. Steve and Bob operated the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian showing visitors Jupiter (17mm Nagler, 66X) and Mars and Saturn (6mm Ortho eyepiece, 186X).

Everett gave 2 Star Finder planispheres and Bob gave 3 Moon Gazers’ Guide cards to interested visitors. Everybody was gone by around 11:00 p.m. after a very interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy.