Richmond Astronomical Society

Brandermill Skywatch and Upcoming Events

Aug 5th, 2009 | By | Category: Blog

SETUPBrandermill Skywatch: What a great skywatch we had at Brandermill on Monday night!   Many thanks to John Raymond for coordinating the event with Jennifer Strader of the Brandermill Community Association and to Terry Barker, Jim Blowers, Sue Brubaker, Gary Cowardin, Dave Credicott, Ray Moody, Hank Nebel and Dave Walton for bringing telescopes and their expertise to the skywatch.

The event was very well attended – local residents came out to see the sights along with a contingent from the Brandermill Retirement Community.  We had lots of good questions and lots of RES2interested folks, including a number of kids.  One young attendee was particularly excited to see Jupiter rise over the tree line.  As soon as he saw it, he announced to the crowd a number of times and at high volume, “Jupiter has arrived, Jupiter has arrived!”  That was pretty cool.

Some guessimated that we had as many as 200 over the course of the evening.  The location was convenient – easy to find with plenty of parking and space to unload, but we did have to deal with lights in the parking lot.  STELCAM2Fortunately we were able to deploy our equipment behind the glare of the lights, but we will try to have the lights extinguished for the next event.  The problem is, as is often the case, access to the controls and whether lights on the same circuit are being used by others.

As Terry noted in his event report (, we were treated to a nearly full moon and a bright Iridium flare almost directly overhead along with the Summer Triangle stars, the Ring Nebula and some views of Jupiter later in the evening.  We had a variety of scopes deployed, including a large Dob, several refractors and Schmidt-Cassegrains.  I deployed an electronic display of images captured by various club DISPmembers.  Dave and Terry set up the club’s Stellacam video system for some outstanding images of lunar features along the moon’s terminator.

By all reports it was a very good event.  Thanks once again to everyone who helped and brought telescopes.  You all made the event – couldn’t have done it without you.

Upcoming Events: Be sure to check the calendar as it is rapidly developing into a busy late summer and autumn of the International Year of Astronomy.  In addition to our regular meetings and skywatch events at the Science Museum of Virginia, we have skywatch events at Bryan Park, the Masonic Home and Meadow Glen.  We also have some mini-star parties at the Goochland Scout Camp and are developing a gathering to celebrate our 60th anniversary, tentatively scheduled for October 17.  Please keep an eye on the calendar for new information (


Jim Browder
Richmond Astronomical Society

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  1. did anyone see a meteor 11/26/09 falling from the night sky, (around 7:00 pm) in Warsaw,VA.