Clear skies greeted visitors to the Cronyn Observatory Open House, Saturday, July 13th, 2013, 8:30 p.m. Dr. Jan Cami made 2 presentations of his digital slide show “Are We Alone?” about the search for extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe. Graduate students Hoda Rashedi and Matthew Shannon were in charge of the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and crowd supervision, respectively. RASC London Centre was represented by Dale Armstrong, Everett Clark, Steve Gauthier, Peter Jedicke and Bob Duff (who arrived later, around 10:00 p.m.).

There were 39 people in the lecture room when Bob arrived around 10:00 p.m. and more visitors upstairs in the dome and roof patio for a total of 69 visitors. There may have been a few more arrivals for an estimated total of around 75 visitors for the evening.

Through the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome Hoda Rashedi showed visitors Venus, using the 32mm Erfle (137X) eyepiece; the 2-days-prior-to First Quarter Moon, using the 32mm Erfle (137X) and 18mm Tele Vue Radian (244X) eyepieces; and Saturn (244X). Through the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian telescope, Steve Gauthier showed visitors the Moon, Saturn, Albireo and M57, using the 17mm Nagler (66X) eyepiece; and Saturn, using the 12.5mm Ortho (89X) eyepiece. Dale Armstrong directed the Observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade 2080/LX3 Schmidt-Cassegrain, showing visitors the Moon, the communications tower, Saturn, Izar and Albireo, using the 12.5mm Ortho (160X) eyepiece; and M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) and M11 (Wild Duck Cluster), using the 20mm Plossl (100X) eyepiece.

The Observatory was closed down around 11:00 p.m., after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy. Physics and Astronomy Department computer resource person Henry Leparskas was there throughout the evening recording some of the activities with a tripod mounted video camera. At the end of the evening Henry assembled Jan and the graduate students and the RASC London Centre members and made a video of each person identifying themselves and saying a few words as they left the dome.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre