A clear sky greeted some 60 visitors from the Western Faculty of Science Discovery Week 2017, for a Special Event at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, November 20th, 2017, 8:15—10:15 p.m. (This was following the earlier Exploring the Stars event for the group HIGH Day North, scheduled, 6:00—8:00 p.m.) They were welcomed by graduate student Amanda DeSouza who invited them to simply circulate upstairs into the dome and downstairs into the “Black Room” and “1940s Period Room.”
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Bob Duff and Peter Jedicke. Everett and Peter showed them the star Vega through the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, using the Meade 28mm Super Wide Angle (157X) and 52mm Erfle (84X) eyepieces. Peter also gave a sky tour to some of the visitors on the observation deck outside the dome. Bob operated the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (placed on the observation deck by Everett) and showed visitors the “Double-Double” star system Epsilon Lyrae, using the 12.5mm Ortho eyepiece (160X), and the star Capella and the Pleiades star cluster (M45), using the 20mm Plossl eyepiece (100X). Bob also talked to the visitors and answered questions about astronomy.
Downstairs in the “Black Room” graduate student Daniel Hatfield gave demonstrations of the “Transit Demo” model—showing how the transit detection method worked for finding extra-solar planets, as well as demonstrations of the “Spectroscopy Demo” with the visitors putting on diffraction grating glasses to view the spectra of 4 gas discharge lamps set out on the table, including: hydrogen, helium, neon and mercury. Bob came downstairs from the observation deck and gave some visitors an informal tour of the historic “1940s Period Room,” a recreation of Dr. H. R. Kingston’s 1940 office designed by RASC London Centre member Mark Tovey.
The visitors were gone by around 10:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and viewing through telescopes and the observatory was closed down shortly thereafter.