Richmond Astronomical Society

Science Museum Skywatch, Astronomy Day 2010 and Internet Star Ted Bethune

Mar 28th, 2010 | By | Category: Blog

SMV Skywatch: The last skywatch at the Science Museum of Virginia was very well attended.  As Terry Barker noted in his March 20th post on the event, our skywatch coincided with an event at the museum associated with the 2010 FIRST Robotics competition.  Bus after bus of participants rolled into the museum parking lot.  Many of the kids, parents and teachers attending the robotics event took time to check out the skywatch and see the sights.  There was lots of activity and enthusiasm.  The waxing crescent moon, Mars and the Orion nebula put on a great show for us in some very comfortable March weather.  It was a great evening.  Thanks to all of the RAS astronomers who brought their telescopes and expertise to the event.  We absolutely could not support these events without all of the very generous help from our members.

Astronomy Day: Astronomy Day 2010 is fast approaching.  At the March meeting we discussed some of the displays that RAS  plans to support, but if there is a display or activity that you would like to help with, please let me know.  I will be contacting the folks that volunteered at the meeting and those that usually help with Astronomy Day.

Ted Bethune: Our own Ted Bethune may be the next internet phenomenon.  As most of you know, Ted is a real space program enthusiast and has collected thousands of images and memorabilia associated with the US and other national space programs over the years.  Ted enjoys sharing his collections and his knowledge about space achievements with schools and civic groups.  Ted will be presenting a short talk on the Pluto space mission at our next regular meeting of the Richmond Astronomical Society.  You can read an interview with Ted by multimedia journalist Randy Davis on his blog and you can see a video interview version on YouTube at this link or below:

Yuri’s Night at Westover Hills Library: John Raymond, our outreach coordinator, is supporting a skywatch event at Westover Hills Library in celebration of Yuri’s Night on April 10 at 7:00 PM.  If you can help out with this event, please e-mail John at

Virginia Skylines: Be sure to check out the latest version of Virginia Skylines on our web site.  Virginia Skylines is a weekly podcast written by Leslie Bochenski, astronomy educator with the Science Museum and Thomas Jefferson High School.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Astronomical Society will be held on Tuesday, April 13 at 7:30 PM at the Science Museum of Virginia.  Jim Blowers will be presenting on “Stars in the News.”  Call me crazy, but I suspect he means stars of the non-terrestrial variety as opposed to the more mundane public figures we read about in the grocery store checkout lines.  Ted Bethune will also be presenting at the meeting on “Pluto 2015.”  Please join us for the meeting and for dinner before the meeting at Arby’s across the street from the museum.

Pleaides Occultation: We had another occultation of the Pleaides star cluster by the moon on March 20, 2010.  Although, to some extent, many occultations look a lot alike, I still find them fascinating.  A video of part of the occultation event is below:


Jim Browder
Richmond Astronomical Society

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