Clear, later partly cloudy skies greeted 59 visitors (including 56 students and 3 adults) from the SHAD program, for evening observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Friday, July 15th, 2016, 8:30 p.m. They were welcomed by Professor Jan Cami who gave a telescope talk upstairs in the dome. The SHAD program is for highly gifted high school students from across the country.
RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans. Professor Jan Cami and Physics and Astronomy staff member Henry Leparskas showed the students Jupiter and Saturn with the 25.4cm refractor in the dome, using the 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X). On the roof patio outside the dome, undergraduate student William Hyland operated the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain, showing the visitors the 4-day-past-first-quarter gibbous Moon, using the 12.5mm Ortho (160X) and 26mm Plossl (77X) eyepieces; and Mars, Saturn and the orange and blue double star Albireo, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (160X). Paul Kerans set up his 9.25-inch (23.5cm) Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain (Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount) on the roof patio and showed the students the Moon, using his 21mm Ethos (112X) and 13mm Ethos (181X) eyepieces; and Jupiter, Saturn and the galaxy M81 using his 13mm Ethos (181X) eyepiece.
The students left by around 10:30 p.m. and Jan, Henry, William and Paul remained until 11:00 p.m. talking and putting away equipment, after an interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy.