Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Cloudy skies with rain greeted 8 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, May 6th, 2017, 8:30 p.m. Professor Els Peeters presented the digital slide presentation “Carbon in the Universe: Our Cosmic Roots” and fielded questions. Graduate student Taranpreet Kaur was in charge of “crowd control” and talked with the visitors. There were in all 8 visitors including 6 who listened to the slide lecture and 2 who went directly upstairs into the dome.

Professor Jan Cami was telescope operator but since rainy weather ruled out opening the dome, he spent the evening organizing the storeroom downstairs. Staff member (and RASC member) Henry Leparskas arrived early, around 7:00 p.m., to work on the software of the donation box—the cabinet size 1940 radio inside the entrance of the observatory.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Heather MacIsaac, Peter Jedicke, Bob Duff, Mark Tovey and Edith Tovey. Heather set up her Celestron Go-To 90mm Maksutov (32mm Plossl eyepiece, 39X) and also helped Everett set up the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (20mm Plossl eyepiece, 100X) inside the dome so as to view out the roof patio door towards an EXIT sign in the window of the Western Sports & Recreation Center. Heather explained the big 25.4cm refractor to a couple of visitors, using the 52mm Erfle eyepiece (84X) that Bob handed to her for demonstration.

Mark and Edith worked downstairs on the “1967 Period Room” recreating the early control room of the Elginfield Observatory to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation—Canada 150. This is to complement the “1940s Period Room” recreating Dr. H. R. Kingston’s office. They were visited by Peter, Heather, Everett, Bob and Henry.

The visitors were gone by 10:00 p.m. and everybody left the dome by around 10:10 p.m., with the telescopes put away, after an interesting evening at the Cronyn Observatory despite the cloudy rainy weather.