Richmond Astronomical Society

December 2012 Meeting Minutes

Feb 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society

759th Consecutive Meeting

December 11, 2012



Greetings – approximately 26 in attendance at the meeting.

Jim Browder called our meeting to order in the foyer outside of the Planetarium entrance.


Announcements / Share Table

Annual dues are due: This is the time of year when we ask our members to make sure their dues are paid for the upcoming year. Dues are $30 per year for regular membership, $10 additional for observatory operators. If you joined RAS after July 1 of this year, your dues payment will be credited to next year. You can give your dues payment to our Treasurer, Jim Blowers, in person at a meeting or you can pay online with PayPal or by mail. Information on PayPal and mail payments on the RAS web site under the “Membership” link.


Scientific Astrophotography: Local astronomer, accomplished astrophotographer and president of the Rappahannock Astronomical Society, Jerry Hubbell, has authored a book called,

“Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data.”

The book is available at and has received some great reviews.


Asteroid 4179 Toutatis Video Stream: An asteroid that someday might threaten Earth is passing relatively close by on the night of December 11-12, and its will be tracked by a team of high-school students at the Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Massachusetts. Weather permitting, real-time high-definition video from the observatory’s 25-inch-diameter telescope will be available from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. (EST) on December 11th and streamed at


2013 Officers: At the last RAS Board of Directors meeting, the following board members were elected as officers of the organization:

President — Jim Browder

Vice President — John Raymond

Secretary — Chris McCann

Treasurer — Jim Blowers


Library Report – all is good!



  • Marie Barnett (wife of John Barnett)
  • Mary Owens (friend of David Medici)


Events and Individual Observing

Recent Events:

  • CarolineMiddle School – 150 people (JimBr was by himself)
  • MatoacaMiddle School – good crowd


Upcoming Events:

  • York River has a skywatch on Friday 12/14.  See John Raymond, if interested.
  • Belmead on the James Skywatch, Saturday, December 15, 7:00 PM: Skywatch at Belmead on the James / Thomas Berry Educational Center, Powhatan. RAS will deploy astronomers and telescopes for the event and there will be an indoor introductory session prior to the observing session. This is an easily accessible dark sky location with plenty of parking adjacent to the observing site. Please contact Jim Browder at if you can help with this event. More info about Belmead and the ThomasBerryEducationalCenter is at
  • Powhatan County Library, December 18, Tuesday, 6:30 — 7:30 PM: RAS will be supporting a skywatch at the Powhatan County Library on December 18 at 6:30 PM. The event has been widely advertised in Powhatan among the local schools so we may have a sizable number of visitors. Please e-mail Jim Browder at if you can help. The Science Museum of Virginia will also be supporting the event.
  • Science Museum Skywatch, Friday, December 21, 6:30 PM: The next skywatch at the Museum will be on December 21 (the same day that the Mayan long count calendar ends). We might get a few questions about this at the December skywatch.
  • Geminid Meteor Shower, December 13-14: Late on December 13 and into the early morning hours of December 14, you may be able to see some Geminid meteors.  The moon is an early waxing crescent.


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