Indigenous Services, Evening Observing at the Cronyn Observatory, July 18th, 2016

Clear skies greeted 31 visitors from Indigenous Services, for evening observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, July 18th, 2016, 8:30 p.m. Professor Jan Cami made the digital slide presentation “The Sun, Our Star” and fielded questions.

Downstairs into the “Black Room,” Jan demonstrated the “Transit Demo” model—demonstrating the transit detection method for finding extra-solar planets—and the “Spectroscopy Demo” inviting the visitors to put on diffraction grating glasses and view the spectra of 4 gas discharge lamps set up on the table, including: hydrogen, helium, neon and mercury.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. Physics and Astronomy staff member Henry Leparskas made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and, working with Paul, opened the freeware Virtual Moon Atlas 6.0 and accessed Calsky for the transit time of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot on the computer in the dome. Everett assisted with the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, with the visitors viewing Jupiter (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 167X) and Saturn, the orange and blue double star Albireo, and globular cluster M13 (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 258X).

On the roof patio outside the dome, Bob Duff operated the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian for a good part of the evening, with visitors viewing the Moon (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X), Mars and Saturn (6mm Ortho eyepiece, 186X) and Mars again (12.5mm Ortho eyepiece, 89X) and finally, the Moon again (18mm Ortho eyepiece). Paul Kerans set up his 9.25-inch (23.5cm) Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain (Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount) showing the visitors the Moon, with his 31mm Nagler (76X), 13mm Ethos (181X) and Celestron 10mm Axiom LX (235X) eyepieces; and Mars and the galaxy M81, with his 21mm Ethos (112X) eyepiece.

The visitors were gone by 10:45 p.m. and the observatory was closed around 11:00 p.m. after a very interesting and enjoyable evening of astronomy.