Richmond Astronomical Society

February 2016 Meeting Minutes

May 9th, 2016 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society
797th Consecutive Meeting
February 9, 2016

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

Announcements/Share Table
Astronomical League Youth Award (see for more information):
Youth imaging award — deadline March 31 2016
James River State Park — Dark Sky Park efforts: We received an inquiry regarding efforts to obtain Dark Sky Park status for James River State Park. If you are interested in working on this project, please contact president©
Telescopes for sale: Members and friends of RAS have a few telescopes or sale. More detail at
Library Report:
• The New Solar System – Kelly Beatty, Brian O’Leary, Andrew Chaikin, 1981
• Exploration of the Solar System – members of the AIAA, 1974
• A Guide to the Planets – Patrick Moore, 1954
• The Atmospheres of the Earth and Planet – Gerard P Kuiper, 1949
• Astronomy: The Solar System – Henry Russell, Raymond Dugan, John Stewart, 1945
• The Planets, Their Origin and Development – Harold C Urey, 1952
• Between the Planets – Fletcher Watson, 1941
• Earth, Moon, and Planets – Fred L Whipple, 1941
• Pluto & Beyond – Anne Minard, 2007

Welcome 6 Visitors

Events and Individual Observing:
• RAS members
• Science Museum
• Powhatan State Park
• Belmead (two-day)

Upcoming Events
RAS Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, March 8, 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 (internet bandwidth permitting) at:
RAS Board of Directors Meeting, February, 15, 7:00 PM, Extra Billy’s Restaurant (W. Broad St.): All RAS members welcome. Reservations will be made for 6:00 PM for dinner If you are not on the board and would like to attend, please send a note to president© so we can make a reservation for you.
Science Museum Skywatch, Friday February 19, 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.
Skywatch at Belmead, March 5, 7:00 PM: Time for a Messier Marathon at Belmead! This is the time of year when all of the Messier objects can, although challenging, be viewed in one night. On March 5 we will try. There will be an indoor presentation on the Messier Objects (rain or shine) and, weather permitting; we will view as many as we can from the Belmead mansion parking area. Please join us if you can and bring a telescope.
Belmead is a beautiful dark sky location in Powhatan County. The entrance of Belmead is at 5004 Cartersville Road, Powhatan. A Google map to the location is at this link: httpsi/’AVD2 . Once on the Belmead property, follow signs to the mansion.
Staunton River Star Party, March 9-13: Registration is open for the Spring installment of the Staunton River Star Party. This is an outstanding star party hosted by the Chapel Hill, NC club (CHAOS) in a dark sky location and only a couple of hours from Richmond. More information and registration is here. Best to register as soon as possible if you plan to attend to make sure the organizers have an accurate count of attendees.
2016 Star Parties: Lots of star parties in 2016. The events for which we currently have information are listed at: 6-star-parties/ Please let us know if you have new information or would like additional star parties/events to be added.
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 meetings. They meet on Monday nights at 7:00 PM in an area with limited light pollution. The group consists of approximately 45 boys ages 6-12. Please contact John Raymond at if you would like to help with this presentation.
Astro-imaging hangouts on Google, dates to be announced: 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, specifically tuned to the needs of astronomical image processing. Bryan is having an informal series of Google hangouts on astro-image processing with Pixinsight. If you want to join in the hangout, please contact


Presentation: ‘What’s New in the Solar System’ by Betty Wilson

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