Richmond Astronomical Society

April 2016 Meeting Minutes

May 9th, 2016 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society
799th Consecutive Meeting
April 12, 2016

Greetings – approximately 31 in attendance at the meeting.
Jim Browder called our meeting to order in the Eureka meeting room

Announcements / Share Table:
2016 RAS Metro Science Fair Award Winners:
• Nicole Teichner, Godwin, Probability of the SMBH Intercepting Earth: Nicole combined the formulas for gravitational force and the radius of a black hole’s event horizon, to compute the probability of this object intercepting the earth’s orbit.
• Camille Yoke, Maggie Walker, Constructive Interference of Seismic Surface Waves: Camille used a large spherical balloon filled with water to simulate the surface waves created when a moving object, like an asteroid, strikes a large planetary body. She used video photography to show that intercepting waves on the opposite side of the impact can create a geographic deformity.
• Claire Anderson, Clover Hill, The Effect of the Distance from Richmond City on the Visibility of Stars: Claire photographed stars at difference distances from Richmond in order to assess sky darkness as a function of distance from Richmond.

Tyler Hutchison astroimaging: Tyler and RAS were mentioned in a great article on the Science Museum in Richmond Family Magazine. The Science Museum is planning to open a new exhibit called ‘Speed,” expected to open this summer. Tyler’s images are viewable at

Library Report: Virginia Eckert

Welcome Visitors: Chris McCann

Events and Individual Observing:
RAS members
Science Museum
Westover Hills
Belmead impromptu observing

Upcoming Events
• Astro-imaging hangouts on Google: Bryan Hartley has been most generous in sharing with us his images and the expertise he is rapidly gaining with Pixinsight, a very powerful image processing tool. To join one of his Google hangouts, contact president©
• Science Museum Skywatch, Friday, April 15, 6:30 PM: Skywatch at the Museum in conjunction with the Museum’s Science After Dark event. Please join us and bring a telescope if you can.
• RAS Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, May 10, 7:30 PM, Science Museum of Virginia: Please join us for the meeting and, if you can, for dinner before the meeting at Arby’s across the street from the Museum. For those that cannot attend in person, we will stream video of the meeting (bandwidth permifting) at:
• Belmead skywatch, Saturday, April 16, 7:00 PM and Saturday, April 30: There will be an indoor presentation and skywatch at Belmead on the James starting at 7:00 PM and an observing session near the mansion on Saturday, April 30. Belmead is a beautiful dark sky location in Powhatan County. A map to the entrance of Belmead at 5004 Cartersville Road is at https:Ilgoo.gIImapsIK6VXrPG4VWD2.
• More about Belmead and its special place in history are discussed in a recent article in Powhatan Today and in a short documentary by local filmmaker Ryan Heathcock at https://vimeo.com144733342
• East Coast Star Party, May 6-8, Coinjock, NC: Casual stargazing in a coastal environment. Contact Kent Blackwell at for info.
• Astronomy Day, Saturday May 14, 10:00 AM: The Science Museum of Virginia and the Richmond Astronomical Society will celebrate Astronomy Day at the Museum with a number of exhibits and activities including the ever popular water rocket launching and more. If you can help with this event, please contact president©
• Dinwiddie Tiger Den Stargazing: A Dinwiddie area Tiger Den has asked for an RAS volunteer astronomer to make a presentation and facilitate stargazing at one of their Monday evening meetings. Contact John Raymond at if you would like to help.

2016 Star Parties: Lots of star other parties in 2016. Info at VAAS, ALCon and NEAF updates


Presentation: “Mass, Velocity and Tyranny,” what it takes to get to all the wonderful places that we reconnoiter with telescopes, Matthew Roy, RAS Vice President

Leave Comment