Richmond Astronomical Society

January 2014 Meeting Minutes

Mar 11th, 2014 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society

772nd  Consecutive Meeting

January 14, 2014


Greetings – approximately 31 in attendance at the meeting.

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


Announcements / Share Table

Jim Blowers and Ken Wilson brought in several books for display, some of which were donated to the library.  Topics included Mars, telescopes, and photography.

Lunar map was also available to look at.

Mathup has a very interesting website:     Take a look at it and let him know what you think of it.

Today, January 14, the sun rises at the southern most point on the horizon.  This is the focus of an annual Indian festival.


Wallops Island / Regional Spaceport Launch Viewing,” Betty Wilson

Betty presented photos of the Antares rocket launching the first Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to deliver supplies to the ISS.  Before the launch, she and Ken took several photos of the area and of planes flying over, practices touch and goes on a carrier until launch time.  The launch was a ‘slower launch than the previous” one from WallopsIsland.  The launch had been delayed a few days due to low temperatures and “unusually high level of space radiation” from X-class solar flares.


Dues are due! Annual dues for Richmond Astronomical Society membership are due at this time of year. Please make sure your dues are paid up with our treasurer, Jim Blowers, in person at a monthly meeting, by US Mail or by PayPal. Mailing address and PayPal information is at Dues for regular membership are $30 per year. If you wish to be on the Observatory staff, please add $10 extra. If you joined RAS after July 1 of this year, your dues payment will be credited toward next year’s membership. Thanks!


Library Report—Virginia Eckert


Events and Individual Observing — RAS members

Prashant reported he saw the launch from his home, stating it appeared brighter than Venus.


Recent Events:

RAS skywatch at Science Museum of Virginia – good crowd

Belmead on the James – bad weather

PowhatanCounty Library – well attended, nice group, enjoyed the indoor presentation.  Outdoor activities were clouded out.


Upcoming Events:

Science Museum of Virginia Skywatch, Friday, January 17, 6:30 PM: RAS will have its regular monthly skywatch at the ScienceMuseum starting at 6:30 PM. Please join us and bring a telescope if you can. It will begin to get dark shortly after 5:00 PM, so please feel free to set up before sunset if you like.

Science Pub RVA, January 21: Look for the next Science Pub RVA event on Tuesday, January 21. The topic will be ecology, economics and engaging the community in health research. Updates at!. Science Pub RVA is planning to host a session on citizen science. If you have a suggestion for any citizen science contributions that might be of general interest to the Science Pub participants, please pass them along to president©

Thomas Jefferson High School Skywatch, Thursday, January 23, 6:30 — 8:30 PM: A skywatch to accompany the ‘Night Under the Stars” event at ThomasJeffersonHigh School in conjunction with a Parent Teacher Student Association meeting at the school. The school is located at 4100 West Grace St. A Google map showing the location is at Please contact Jim Browder, if you can bring a telescope, at This event will likely be well attended and we will need several astronomers to help out.

Open house at the RAS Ragland Observatory, Friday, February 7, 6:30 PM: Please join us if you can for an open house gathering at the Ragland Observatory. The observatory is located behind the RobiousHallShopping Center at the intersection of Robious Road and Midlothian Turnpike. Please contact John Raymond, Observatory Director, for more information at Rain date is February 8 in case of inclement weather.

Skywatch at CarolineMiddle School, Wednesday, April 2: RAS has received an invitation to assist with a skywatch at CarolineMiddle School in CarolineCounty. If you are interested in helping with this skywatch, please contact Jim Browder at



Alex H. Sain

T. Boyd Moore




Presentation: Astro Events for 2014” by John Raymond

John started off 2014 with a good list of popular skywatches to attend.


Sat Jan 25     Bobfest

GardnerWebbUniversity in Boiling Springs, NC
Sun Feb 23 – Mar 2      Winter Star Party

Florida Keys (Great idea for a field trip!)
Sat Mar 1       Tri Star

GuilfordCollege in Jamestown, NC

Bill Jeffries, John, and Prashant attended it in 2006
Mar 27-30       Staunton River

If not now, it will be the premier star party of the east coast in a few years
Fall version of the  Staunton River Star Party will be Oct 20-26


April 12-13      NorthEast Astronomy Forum (NEAF)    near New York City

Last year, there was about 150 vendors and 2000 people


Thurs Apr 24 – 27       DelMarVa  (actually in Maryland)       Spring Star Gaze

Thurs Sept 18 – 21      DelMarVa  (actually in Maryland)       Fall No Frills


Possible Mirror making seminar in Smyrna, Delaware



June 25-28th     Green Bank Star Quest XI

Tour of radio antennae facilities
June 26-29       Cherry Springs Star Party
July 23-27       Mason Dixon Star Party

Harrisonburg, PA


Thurs July 24 – 27       Stellafane Cnvention     Springfield, VT
Aug 22-26      Almost Heaven              near Spruce Knob, WV


Sept 27         NOVAC    at Crockett Park, Va


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