Ontario Association of Physics Teachers, Physics Camp: Evening Observing at the Cronyn Observatory, July 7th, 2016

Partly cloudy skies with hazy clouds greeted 14 visitors (including one young boy) from the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers (OAPT) Physics Camp for evening observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, July 7th, 2016, 9:00—11:00 p.m. They were welcomed by Professor Stan Metchev and Physics and Astronomy Department staff member Henry Leparskas was also there.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans, Bob Duff, Heather MacIsaac, Steve Gauthier and Peter Jedicke. Henry Leparskas made ready the big 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) in the dome and Everett Clark directed it towards the 3-day-past-new crescent Moon in the western sky. Throughout the evening the visitors viewed the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn though the 28mm Meade SWA eyepiece (157X), and Saturn again though Paul’s 13mm Ethos eyepiece (337X).

Downstairs in the “Black Room” Physics and Astronomy staff member Henry Leparskas operated the “Transit Demo” model—demonstrating the transit detection method for finding extra-solar planets—and gave tours of the historic “Period Room,” which featured the “Sotellunium” mechanical eclipse demonstration model and Dr. H. R. Kingston’s brass refractor telescope.

On the observatory’s roof patio outside the dome, Steve Gauthier adjusted the collimation on the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian with his laser collimator. Throughout the evening Steve showed the teachers the Moon and Jupiter through the 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), later swapping in his 7mm Nagler (159X) and 9mm Nagler (124X) for good views of Mars. Steve also used his Orion Shorty 2X Barlow lens together with his 7mm Nagler eyepiece for a high magnification view (318X) of Mars in the 25.4cm Dobsonian.

Paul Kerans set up his 9.25-inch (23.5cm) Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain on his Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount and showed the teachers spectacular views of the Moon, using his 21mm Ethos eyepiece (112X), Jupiter, with his 13mm Ethos eyepiece (181X), and the Ring Nebula (M57) with his 21mm Ethos eyepiece (112X). Heather MacIsaac showed the teachers Jupiter, Saturn and Mars through her Celestron Go-To 90mm Maksutov (17mm Plossl eyepiece, 73.5X). 
The teachers were gone after thanking everybody for a very interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy and the observatory was closed down around 11:15 p.m.