Richmond Astronomical Society

Yuri’s night at the Westover Hills Library

Apr 11th, 2010 | By | Category: Blog, Events

RAS had three telescopes at the Westover Hills Library last night, to help them celebrate Yuri’s Night-an annual worldwide party to celebrate Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into space–as well as to promote space exploration. The library highlighted many books on astronomy and space celebration, and held events for the younger kids to celebrate the night. We saw many home made flying saucers around our telescopes later in the night.

Bill Jeffries, John Barnett, and Terry Barker brought telescopes to let the crowd explore Mars, Saturn, Rigel, The Orion Nebula, Mizar, and Alcor. The sky was challenging, as the library is on a small plot of land right off the intersection of two major roads. We had two street lights on either side of us, and there were three parking light lots on the side of the building we were set up next to.

Our hosts had no control of the lights, but they came to our rescue with a cardboard box that they taped over one of the lights. I was able to unscrew another one from its socket, so we were able to make do.

The sky cooperated though–it was gorgeous, and the crowd was big and enthusiastic. We’ve been helping this library with Yuri’s night for several years now. They really get into the event, and it’s reflected in the large crowds they have every year–there were probably 200 people there over the evening. RAS is glad to help out, and I’m sure we’ll be there next year. Many things to the staff, include Doug D’Urso, for inviting us.

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  1. Spencer, one of the many young participants and his many friends appreciated the event as he left thanking us for our being there. He along with his parents were invited to our monthly Skywatch at the museum and hopefully they will come. I also helped a young participant set up and give a few pointers on the use of his Meade starter scope.

  2. Deborah Thompson sent us a very nice thank-you e-card for particpating in the event at:

    Click on the following link:
    http://www.msn.americangreetings.com/ecards/view.pd?i=436685939&m=7133&rr=y&source=msne999