Richmond Astronomical Society

Fall Picnic and Loads of Fall Stargazing Events

Aug 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Blog

Fall picnic:  Our fall picnic is scheduled for September 17, 2011 at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland.  This is the same location where we had last year’s fall picnic.  The Scout Reservation is an excellent location with convenient picnic facilities, restrooms, electricity and, lest we forget, a nice dark sky.  With the last quarter moon of September 17, we should have a good opportunity to view and/or image a number of deep sky objects visible in autumn sky. We hope everyone can join us.

Directions to the camp are here and here in Google Maps. The picnic will be held at the picnic shelter in the Cub Adventure Camp. Once you enter the reservation from Maidens Road/Rt. 522, take an immediate right turn into the Cub Adventure Camp, drive about 0.1 mile and the shelter will be on your right. Park in the nearby lot or in the adjacent field if you have telescope or other equipment to deploy. Please note that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to comply with camp rules.

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Upcoming events: Wow! Lots of stargazing and astronomy events to participate in this fall.  A list is below – I know that I have forgotten something – please let me know what is missing.  Note that we may adjust the dates of some of the RAS observing sessions where there is a conflict with one of these events and a larger star party.

  • Aug 19: Science Museum of Virginia skywatch and LiveSky planetarium show; please contact Jim Browder at president@richastro.org if you can help with this event.
  • Aug 19: Dark Skies, Bright Kids event in Charlottesville; skywatch at 8:00 PM at Red Hill Elementary School; contact Jim Browder at president@richastro.org if you want to help with this event.
  • Aug 27:  Observing session for RAS members and friends; Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland; directions to the camp are here and here in Google Maps.
  • Sep 16: Skywatch at Scotchtown; please contact John Raymond at raymond7419@verizon.net if you can bring a telescope to this event.
  • Sep 16: Girl Scout stargazing at Burgess in the Northern Neck; check back for updates on this event.
  • Sep 17: RAS Fall Picnic at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland; directions to the camp are here and here in Google Maps.
  • Sep 23: Skywatch at City Point, Petersburg National Battlefield; please contact John Raymond at raymond 7419@verizon.net if you can bring a telescope to this event.
  • Sep 24: Observing session for RAS members and friends; Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland; directions to the camp are here and here in Google Maps.
  • Sep 26 – Oct 2: East Coast Astronomy Rendezvous: Luray, VA; focused on video astronomy.
  • Sep 29 – Oct 2: Delmarva No-Frills Star Party.
  • Oct 1: Meeting of the Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies, Tidewater Community College, hosted by the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers. The meeting will be at the Virginia Beach campus in the new Science and Technology building (the one with the planetarium).
  • Oct 24 – 30: Mid-Atlantic Star Party, Robbins, NC
  • Oct 27-30: East Coast Star Party, Coinjock, NC; contact Kent Blackwell for more information at kent@exis.net.
  • Oct 29: Observing session for RAS members and friends; Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland; directions to the camp are here and here in Google Maps.
  • Nov. 18-19: (Central Va Family Stargaze, star party hosted by the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation, open to the public).
  • Dec. 17: Observing session for RAS members and friends; Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland; directions to the camp are here and here in Google Maps.

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Getting into Vesta’s orbit: The NASA Dawn mission spacecraft has entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta and is sending back some really col images and information.  Here is a video about how the spacecraft was placed in orbit using its ion drive engines:

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Perseid meteors:  The Perseid meteor shower has been somewhat of a bust this year due to the unfavorable weather (meaning clouds and rain) and the bight moon.  NASA hosted an interesting chat and several fireballs were captured on all-sky cameras.  One fireball prior to the Perseid peak was reported as being seen from this area and from the Virginia Beach area on the night of August 11. If you saw it you might want to report your sighting the American Meteor Society here.

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Atlantis, SOFIA, an asteroid and the RAS Cafe Press Shop: This was the hodge-podge of topics we covered at the last RAS meeting.  Many thanks to Chris McCann for his recounting of the latest and last Space Shuttle launch as well as updates on the SOFIA telescope project and the recent discovery of a Trojan asteroid that shares the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

For those interested in viewing or purchasing any products from the RAS Cafe Press online shop, you can find the products listed at the link below. We hope to have additional options in the near future.

RAS Cafe Press Shop:  http://www.cafepress.com/richastroshop

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Regards,

Jim Browder
Richmond Astronomical Society

 

 

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