Richmond Astronomical Society

RAS Fall Picnic

Oct 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Events

The RAS Fall picnic was definitely a success.  Thanks very much to Tim Streagle and the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation for use of the facility, for supplying grilling equipment and for providing such a great stargazing venue afterward.  Thanks also to Prashant Reddy for coordinating the event and the menu and making sure that everything went smoothly.

The weather was great and the evening was a lot of fun.  It was wonderful to see everyone.

We had hamburgers and hot dogs (grilled to perfection) along with cole slaw, beans, various salads and some great desserts.  Everything was delicious.  There is something about eating food outdoors that makes it taste even better.

The weather was fantastic.  The sky was blue and clear and the afternoon temperature was pleasant.  With the sun on its way down, we were treated to some solar views through the club’s solar scope and higher detail views through Randy Tatum’s double-stacked PST.  Several small sunspots were visible along with a few prominences and two readily visible filaments.  At sunset a crispness in the air arrived, typical of an Autumn evening.

I did not have a chance to look through all of the scopes, but I saw several Dobsonians, a Newtonian, several refractors and a couple of Schmidt-Cassegrains – a nice variety of equipment.  The moon and Jupiter gave us a nice show and we located Uranus, Neptune, a number of clusters and, after some searching, Comet Hartley, which is large but not particularly bright and moving rapidly through the constellation Perseus into Auriga.

As the evening proceeded, the atmosphere stabilized and we had lots of dew forming on hard surfaces (as in eyepieces and mirrors).  Around midnight or so, a light fog formed near the ground and gradually grew in thickness to a noticeable degree.  The holdouts of the group left the observing field around 2:00 AM.

Once again – many thanks to everyone for joining us at the picnic and to Tim and Prashant for their help with the arrangements.


Jim Browder
Richmond Astronomical Society

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