Richmond Astronomical Society

60th Anniversary Dinner, November Meeting and Other Upcoming Events

Nov 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Blog

RAS 60th Anniversary dinner: Please mark your calendars for the evening of December 4.  We will be holding our 60th anniversary dinner at the Holiday Inn on Staples Mill, near the intersection of Staples Mill and Broad St.  Please plan to attend and bring your spouse or significant other.  Bill Jeffries has invited Jim Condon with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville to be our keynote speaker.

Galaxy UGC 3789 / Space Telescope Science Institute

Galaxy UGC 3789 (Credit: STScI)

Jim will be speaking on “Weighing a Black Hole.”  More about his work can be found here and in this news release about a study to which he contributed regarding direct, geometric measurement of the distance to a galaxy using the very appropriately named Very Long Baseline Array.  The observation made as part of this study is a key element of a major effort to measure the expansion rate of the universe, known as the Hubble Constant, with greatly improved precision. This effort will help cosmologists narrow down possible explanations for the nature of Dark Energy.

The cost of the anniversary dinner will be about $30 per person and we will need to know in advance if you are planning to attend.  As the date of the event approaches, we will send out more specific information; however, if you wish to make reservations now, please feel free to send me an e-mail at and I will add your name to the list.

November meeting: Our next meeting will be held on November 10 in the Eureka Theater of the Science Museum of Virginia at 7:30 PM.  Jeff Pike will be presenting.  Among Jeff’s astronomical interests are solar observing techniques.  The title of his presentation will be “Amateur Solar Astronomy. “   More tools than ever before are available for astronomy enthusiasts to view and study the sun and we are looking forward to hearing about Jeff’s experience in this area.  Please join us at the meeting and for dinner before the meeting at Arby’s across the street from the museum.

Mini-star party: We are planning another mini-star party for November 13th at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland.  Directions to the camp are here.  After passing through the main entrance to the camp, turn right, travel about 0.1 mile and turn right at the sign with a picture of a telescope on it.  For GPS users, the address is 1723 Maidens Rd. in Goochland (observing site coordinates N 37.678986, W 77.8708).  If there is another event at the camp which will have lights that may interfere with observing, Tim Streagle will move us to another location.  If this is the case, signs will indicate the new location.

SMV skywatch: The November Skywatch and LiveSky events at the Science Museum have been cancelled due to a large  event at the museum on the same evening which will make it difficult to have a good skywatch.

matoacaMatoaca High School skywatch: We we be hosting a skywatch at Matoaca High School on November 25.  Please contact John Raymond at if you can bring a telescope.  As always, we very much appreciate all of the time and effort on the part of our members who support outreach events like this one.  We receive many compliments and thanks from participants at these events who find them informative and rewarding.


Jim Browder
Richmond Astronomical Society

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