First-Year Students Evening Observing at the Cronyn Observatory, July 20th, 2016

Clear skies greeted 45 visitors from the Summer Academic Writing Clinic for incoming first-year students, for evening observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Wednesday, July 20th, 2016, 8:30—11:00 p.m. Professor Jan Cami made the digital slide presentation “Astronomy at Western” and answered questions. Downstairs in the “Black Room” Physics and Astronomy staff member Henry Leparskas demonstrated the “Transit Demo” model—demonstrating the transit detection method for finding extra-solar planets—for about a dozen students.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans, Bob Duff, Heather MacIsaac and Peter Jedicke. Henry Leparskas located Jupiter with the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome around 8:45 p.m., which made a splendid view in the 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X). Everett operated the 25.4cm refractor for most of the evening with the students viewing Jupiter, Saturn and Mars through the 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X). Other objects viewed through the big 25.4cm refractor, with the 18mm Radian eyepiece (244X), included the Ring Nebula (M57) and the orange and blue double star Albireo. Jan and Henry located globular cluster M13, in the 25.4cm refractor, with the 28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece (157X), swapping in the 17mm Nagler (258X) and 52mm Erfle (84X) eyepieces for different views.

On the roof patio outside the dome Peter Jedicke showed the students Mars and Saturn and the double-stars Albireo and Cor Caroli through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X). Peter also directed the 25.4cm Dobsonian towards the Moon after the students had left. Paul Kerans set up his 9.25-inch (23.5cm) Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain (Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount) and showed the students Jupiter and Mars with his 21mm Ethos eyepiece (112X), swapping in the 13mm Ethos eyepiece (181X) to view Saturn. Paul also showed them the galaxy M81 and the Ring Nebula (M57) in his 9.25-inch (23.5cm) Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain, with the 21mm Ethos eyepiece (112X). Heather MacIsaac showed the students Mars, the stars Mizar and Alcor, and the one-day-past-full Moon through her Celestron Go-To 90mm Maksutov, using her 17mm Plossl eyepiece (73.5X), and installing a Moon filter when viewing the Moon for a more comfortable view.

Observing continued in the dome with Jan, Henry, Paul, Bob and one remaining student until the Cronyn Observatory was shut down around 11:30 p.m., after a very interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy.