Richmond Astronomical Society

January Meeting Minutes

Mar 7th, 2011 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society

736th Consecutive Meeting

January 12, 2011


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

Greeting & Announcements – approximately 21 in attendance at the meeting.


Share table:

  • Two plaques to be presented to John Raymond from RAS, but he was not at the meeting.

1)      In Appreciation for your support of the Petersburg National Battlefield Skywatch Program

2)       . . . for his tireless efforts to bring the experience of viewing the wonders in the night sky to people of the greater Richmond area.

  • Leslie Bochenski had a personal necklace on display of the planet Jupiter.  The image was from a few years ago when Red Spot, Jr was easily visible.
  • Betty Wilson had some astronomical literature about the activities from NASA Langley and the Wallops Island Facility.  Also, some information on the near-future launches from Wallops Island and of the Space Shuttle (STS-133, 134, and possibly 135) from Florida.
  • Ken Wilson had a BBC news story about the youngest girl to discover a Supernova.
  • Bill Jeffries had a Monitoring Times magazine and discussed meteor scattering as heard on a short wave radio.


Past Events:

Science Museum skywatch was sparcely attended due to cold weather.  Hot chocolate was available for those who attended.  Except for the hot chocolate, the Moon and Jupiter were the 2 biggest attractions.

Upcoming Events:

  • Family and Community Night at John Rolfe Middle School on Thursday, January 13 (6:15pm – 7:15pm).  6901 Messer Road in Richmond.    Please contact John Raymond at if you can help out.   Bring your telescopes early to set up.  We are expecting a good turnout.
  • Science Museum Skywatch / LiveSky show – Friday, January 21.  LiveSky will be held at 6:00pm, and will be “Stellar Evolution”.  Please sign up if you can bring a scope. 
  • More information at


Welcome to Visitors and New members – 3 visitors:

  • Dan Salkovitz
  • Michael Atkins and his son Michael, Jr.



Short talk  –  “Syndey’s Telescope” Sydney and Mark Mabry

       Postponed until the February meeting

Break – –

January’s Presentation: “Skylights of 2011: Upcoming Astronomical phenomena of the Year” by Ken Wilson

Ken presented the group with a listing of highlights arranged month-by-month and contained many different astronomical events to witness.  Major meteor showers, eclipses from around the world, relative planetary locations during the months, the Zodiacal Light, and even information on an expected comet and Astronomy Day were included in his presentation.  Astronomy Day will be May 7th and RAS is already planning its activities.  Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1) should be visible in the evening sky in late August.   On September 5th, Comet Elenin will be reaching perihelion, and should appear in the predawn sky during the next couple of weeks.

Besides the expected events, he reminded us to be aware of the unexpected events, such as fireballs and new comets.  Sunspot activity is on the upswing, so there may be an increased chance of solar flares and a better chance of seeing auroras towards the north.

Very informative arrangement of events.



The next RAS meeting will be Tuesday, February 8th at the SMV.

The next board meeting will be Monday, February 21st 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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