Richmond Astronomical Society

    News

    Supermoon over St. Louis.  RAS member Steve Shubert won first place with this image in an Astronomical League competition sponsored by OPT.  Congratulations Steve!

    Our next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, September 12, 7:30 PM at the Science Museum of Virginia. Please join us for the meeting and, if you can, for dinner at Chicken Fiesta across the street from the Museum about 6:00 PM.

    RAS upcoming events are here and star party info is here.

    Great article by John Boyer in the RTD about local eclipse chasers is here.

    August 21 eclipse viewing resources are here and here.
    Eclipse weather forecast info is here.

    Join RAS astronomers at the Science Museum of Virginia for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 1:00 – 4:00 PM!


     

Events

Use Nextdoor app to arrange a neighborhood skywatch

I used an app called Nextdoor last Saturday night to announce a skywatch that I wanted to hold at my local high school. The tennis courts at the school are perfect, because there aren’t any parking lot lights in sight. And the webbing they have up on the surrounding fence almost completely eliminates the glare from outside lights on the building itself.

I put up my post at 4 pm for an 8:30 observing time, and got 4-5 responses. I did it with short notice on purpose, because I didn’t want hundreds of people showing up. I ended up having about 15 people and we had a great time. Most of them told me they loved the idea and hoped I would do it again. I also got some responses the next day from people who didn’t see the post in time, and expressed that they hoped I would do it again. I was ecstatic that half the audience were teen age and younger.

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Skywatch at Tomahawk Baptist Church

Ray Moody and I (Terry) had a good crowd at Tomahawk Baptist Church last Friday (8/4) evening, and in spite of being alongside very busy Hull Street, we had a great time viewing the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and Albireo (double star). I’m estimating about 60-70 kids and parents were there, celebrating the end of their Vacation Bible School.

We were even treated to hot dogs, brownies, and a gift card to Burger Bach. Outstanding.

Nice Thank You letter from SPBC skywatch

I received this email after helping St. Paul Baptist Church host a skywatch in July. They were a great bunch, and we had a good time viewing Jupiter, the Moon, and some double stars. And I was surprised and pleased to see Tiffany and Joyceline at the last SMV skywatch–now, that’s staying in touch.

Hi Terry,

We wanted to send you a heartfelt thank-you for your support of our Skywatching party in late June.  We appreciate your patience and assistance in sharing your telescope and knowledge with our Saint Paul’s family.  We received lots of positive feedback on the skywatching party and the kids amazement in peering at the planets and stars.  Thank you for being a part of this and exposing our youth to astronomy.  Thanks again!

Tiffany C. Owens
System Safety Engineer
Naval Surface Warfare Center- Dahlgren/ CDSA Dam Neck

And a Big Thank You from me too.

Josey-Harris, Joycelyn F CIV NSWCDD, V33

Skywatch at Short Pump Middle School

What a good group of kids–we had about 60 students and parents show up for the Short Pump Middle School skywatch. We started off in the auditorium with Madhup Rathi showed an astronomy slide show, and then we headed out behind the school to a fairly dark sky. Amazing–we could even see the big dipper eventually. We treated the kids to views of the Moon, Jupiter, Mizar and a small double star called 24 Coma Berenices, which has a very nice color contrast.

Chesterfield County skywatch

Here’s an alternate use for a soccer field–Terry Barker led a Chesterfield County skywatch for about 20 people on April 28, at the Woodlake Athletic Complex (behind Clover Hill Elementary). The sky was pretty bright, but the Moon, Jupiter, and Mizar were easy targets. Information to sign up is shown below.

RAS presents STEM Fair awards

Here’s an interesting idea–to avoid radiation danger to astronauts during space travel, shield them by scooping out a hole in an asteroid and place them in there. That’s exactly the point of Naren Kasinath’s science fair project this year. Every year, RAS (Richmond Astronomical Society) seeks out projects just like this, and others that relate to astronomy and space science.
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Skywatch at Matoaca Middle

We had a great crowd of about 50-60 students and parents, last night, March 2, with a perfect night for star gazing. Ray Moody, Madhup Rathi, and myself (Terry Barker) used our telescopes to show off the Moon, Venus M42, and a few double stars. We started off inside the school, where Madhup gave a Powerpoint presentation of what we were going to be looking at. This gave the kids something to anticipate before heading outside.

 

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