Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Mostly clear skies greeted an estimated 120 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Tuesday, March 29th, 2016, 7:00 p.m. This included 34 visitors from the 1st Strathroy Scouts (25 Scouts and 9 adults / leaders) who showed up early in the evening. The visitors were welcomed by graduate student Dilini Subasinghe and, since there was no slide presentation, were directed upstairs into the dome.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans, Steve Gauthier, Tricia Colvin, Mark Tovey and Bob Duff. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg was telescope operator early in the evening and changed places with Dilini around 8:00 p.m. Kendra showed visitors the communications tower in south London through the big 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) and later Jupiter in the eastern sky, swapping in the 52mm Erfle eyepiece (84X) for a better view. When Dilini took over the 25.4cm refractor around 8:00 p.m., the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) was reinstalled for a better view of Jupiter, now higher in the deepening twilight sky.

On the roof patio outside the dome, Steve showed visitors Jupiter through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mmNagler eyepiece, 66X), with Paul later took over and showing visitors Jupiter and the Orion Nebula (M42). Tricia and Mark and, later, Bob took turns showing visitors Jupiter through the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X). Bob swapped in the 12.5mm Ortho (160X) and then 20mm Plossl (100X) eyepieces to show visitors a higher magnification view of Jupiter through the 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Everett showed visitors Jupiter through the observatory’s Orion AstroView 6 (15cm) Newtonian reflector (10mm Plossl eyepiece, 75X) set up on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 mount, used for the 90mm Coronado H-Alpha solar telescope.

Paul helped his young niece with her Celestron AstroMaster 70mm refractor (20mm eyepiece, 45X) eyepiece on its alt-azimuth mount, viewing Jupiter and M42. The visitors were mostly gone by around 9:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy under mostly clear skies.