Richmond Astronomical Society

August Meeting Minutes

Sep 14th, 2010 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society

731st Consecutive Meeting

August 10, 2010


Jim Browder called our meeting to order in the Eureka room.

Greeting & Announcements – approximately 25 in attendance at the meeting.

Please check the link to our RAS blog:

Thanks to the many email responses who were willing to help with the telescope training for the Midlothian family.

There is a new link on the RAS website about a girl named Sydney, who asked her dad Mark (one of our members) if they could build a telescope.  They are doing that and have set up a web site, , to chronicle their adventure and their progress.  Mark has also set up an email address for comments/suggestions:   It looks like they are going to have loads of fun with this project and have already made a lot of progress.  We look forward to the next update.  Be sure to stop by their blog and say hello.

Share table:

Photographs taken by a member; Televue eyepieces; and a lost water bottle from the July meeting

Past Events:

The Science Museum Skyday Night event on July 16th was very successful.  Approximately 400 people attended the event which included the RAS skywatch.  Several of the RAS members were there to help, including Gary, Jim Browder, Cal, and Alan.  I apologize if I left others out.

Several members mentioned that they had been observing and has viewed several objects, including Jupiter and solar observing using a SunGun.

Upcoming Events:

Perseid meteor shower peaks this coming Thursday night/Friday morning (10/12-13)

Please contact John Raymond at if you can help with any of these events:

  • Bryan Park Meteor Watch – August 12, 8:00 PM.
  • Skywatch at the Montpelier Center – August 13, 7:30 PM.  For directions and information see
  • Battersea Foundation (Petersburg) Skywatch – August 26, 8:00 PM     For directions and information see
  • Dinwiddie on Sept 4.
  • Scotchtown in Hanover County on Friday, Sept 24


Science Museum Skywatch / LiveSky show – August 20.  LiveSky will be held at 6:00pm.  Please sign up if you can bring a scope.

An open house is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18th at the Ragland Observatory Open House, weather permitting.  Watch the Richastro Yahoo group for updates.
A job opening was found through Cornell University, for a telescope pointer at Arecibo.  Anyone interested?

VAAS: October 9 at Roanoke College.  More information later.

Dues announcement:

Annual dues are due and should be given to Jim Blowers.  Membership is $30.  Observatory memberships and magazine subscriptions increase the amount.

Payment can be made by PayPal at

Observatory Report (John Barnett):

John Barnett has asked Chris McCann to hosting an open house for members and guests on Wednesday, August 18th at 8:30pm.  Weather advisory and a reminder will be emailed to all members.

Thanks to Reed and Dave for cutting the grass in July.

Contact Jim Blowers to update your email address if it has changed.

Library Report was not given.  The RAS library was moved out of the RAS recently.  At this time, it is in public storage with controlled atmospheric conditions.  It will be moved to the Richmond Alarm Company on the afternoon of August 17.  The owner of the Alarm company is Wayne Boggs, a former RAS President.

Visitors:  none

Short talk  –  “Re-cap of Skyday Night at the Science Museum”

Break – –

August’s Presentation: “Construction History of the International Space Station” by Chris McCann

Taking into account the upcoming retirement of the Space Shuttle, concerns arose about the future of the US’s involvement and ability to support the ISS.  Much of the future concerns are unanswered.  But looking back, we examined the creation and growth of the ISS through many different methods.  Since the early 1980’s, there were several countries who contributed to the vast planning and growth of ISS, including US, Russia, Japan, Italy, and Canada.  Most of the building was done by the shuttle over many years, but the many pieces of the station were created by these countries.  Photos were shown of many stages, starting with Zarya (1998) and continuing through many additions until the ISS was deemed completed in 2010.  The presentation ended with a short animated video of the major pieces of the ISS moving to and attaching itself to the previously installed pieces.



The next RAS meeting will be Tuesday, September 14th at the SMV.

The next board meeting will be Monday, August 16 at Extra Billy’s at 7:00 PM (arrive earlier for dinner). Meeting is open to all members.

Check out the web site 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.

RAS Café Press store.  Please take a look at the online store where you can purchase items embossed with the RAS label. The site can be found at .

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