Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Partly cloudy skies with dark clouds and rain showers moving in from the southwest greeted 14 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Summer Public Night, Saturday, May 9th, 2015, 8:30 p.m.  Professor Martin Houde made his digital slide presentation “Submillimetre Astronomy” before an audience of 11 people (8 adults and 3 children).  There were 3 people counted in the dome bringing the evenings total to 14 visitors (10 adults and 4 children).

RASC London Centre was represented by Dale Armstrong, Everett Clark, Mark Tovey, Bob Duff, Tricia Colvin, Steve Gauthier and Peter Jedicke.  London Centre member and astronomy graduate student Emily McCullough was telescope operator for the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome.  London Centre member Richard Gibbens was also there and listened to the slide lecture.

Emily and Bob supervised as a man took pictures of a young boy sitting on the observing ladder and viewing through the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) in the big 25.4cm refractor, although nothing was visible in the bright southwestern sky.

Tricia set up the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) and others pitched in to set up the Observatory’s 2 Meade 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes on the roof patio only to hastily bring them back inside the dome as dark clouds and rain moved in from the southwest.  Dale directed the recently donated  8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (Tele Vue 26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X)  which had no power supply, just inside the dome door so as to view the lights on the communications tower in south London.  Mark had brought a MotoMaster Nautilus Battery Pack to power this Schmidt-Cassegrain but it was not needed on this cloudy evening.

The other 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain and the 25.4cm Dobsonian were set up inside the dome for display.  The evening was spent in conversation with visitors.  Dale set up his tripod and camera with a wide field lens and took pictures inside the dome.  Bob and Everett spoke with one girl, later joined by her father, who had brought her Celestron 90mm Maksutov telescope.  Dale took a group picture with his tripod and camera at the end of the evening and the Observatory was closed down around 10:35 p.m.