SHAD: Evening Observing at the Cronyn Observatory, July 18th, 2017

Mostly clear skies with a few clouds greeted 77 visitors (including 67 students and 10 staff members) from the SHAD program, for evening observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, July 18th, 2017, 8:30 p.m. They were welcomed by Professor Jan Cami and graduate students Viraja Khatu and Amanda DeSouza. The SHAD program is for highly gifted high school students from across Canada.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. Viraja was telescope operator and, together with Jan, directed the big 25.4cm refractor (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 258X) in the dome towards Jupiter in the bright early evening sky, using hour angle and declination coordinates from the Starry Night Pro software on the computer.

There were 3 amateur telescopes set up for the evening, including the observatory’s Meade 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain and the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian set up on the observation deck outside the dome; and Paul’s 22-inch (56cm) Obsession Truss-Tube Dobsonian, set up on the brick sidewalk on the south side of the observatory. Bob showed visitors Jupiter through the 20.3cm Schmidt-Cassegrain, using the 15mm Sky-Watcher UltraWide eyepiece (133X) and then the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (160X). Everett showed them Jupiter, Saturn and the star Vega through the 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 18mm Radian eyepiece (62X). Paul showed visitors Jupiter, Saturn and the stars Mizar and Alcor through his 22-inch (56cm) Obsession Truss-Tube Dobsonian, using his 21mm Ethos eyepiece (126X).

The students asked many good questions and everybody was gone by around 10:20 p.m. after a very interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy.