Richmond Astronomical Society

June Meeting Minutes

Oct 10th, 2011 | By | Category: Meetings

RichmondAstronomical Society

741st Consecutive Meeting

June 14, 2011


Jim Browder called our meeting to order in theEurekaroom.


Greeting & Announcements – approximately 32 in attendance at the meeting.

Please check the link to our RAS blog:


Share table:

There were several items, including an ISS orbit map, a scavenger hunt (for later in tonight’s presentation), an IR map of the country at night, a map of Florida from Cal (short talk), information on the Kennedy Space Center, a solar photo through a white light filter, a press release declaring the next solar maximum will probably not be good, and an autographed magazine article by Ken Blackwell.


Library Report was in great shape. Virginia had 5 books to offer tonight: Coming of Age of Milky Way (1943); Man Discovers Galaxy; Realm of Nebuli; Air and Space; and Entering Space.



Past Events:

ScienceMuseumSkywatch – “pretty nice bunch of people”; clear sky for about an hour, then clouds started rolling in.  Major object of viewing was Saturn.

City Point – Rained out

Scout Camp – high level of clouds when it got dark; a few mosquitoes too

East Coast Star Party – Ray, Mark, Jim Browder attended.  Some of the attendees had the pleasure of seeing the supernova in M51.  Thursday: decent viewing and a few mosquitoes; Frnd; Saturday: hit or miss with clouds; Sunday was rained out.  Enjoyed by all.
Individual observing


Upcoming Events:

The next Science Museum Skywatch/LiveSky show is June 17.  Please sign-up if you are available to attend and bring a scope.  More information at

Observing session for RAS members and guests, July 2: Observing at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland.


Green Bank StarQuest, June 29 – July 2:  Optical and radio astronomy star party, Green Bank, WV.


Visitors: none


Short talk: “Visit to a Space Shuttle Launch” by Cal Pletcher

Caldecided that he would like to go see Space Shuttle Endeavor (STS-134) launch before the shuttle fleet becomes permanently grounded.  He told us about taking a drive down toFlorida, and finding a place to stay nearby theCape.  On the morning of the launch (May 16, 2011), he found a place about 15 miles north of the launch where very few people were, until it got close to launch time.  This time, the shuttle successfully launch and he got a view from the north side. Calshowed us a few photos that he took of the view and of the launch.  He even got a copy of a shuttle photo taken just seconds after launch by a photographer with a strong telescopic lens.  What a photo!!  Shortly after the launch,Calmade his way back to his car, and back toVirginia.  His interesting presentation makes me wish to see one soon!



June’s Presentation: “Great Balls of Fire Exhibit – a Private Showing” by Leslie Bochenski

Remember the scavenger hunt information from the share table.  We are about to use it on a private viewing of the meteor exhibit.  There were many exhibits to see to give us the answers for the hunt.  By the time we were done, we had seen ways to recognize and test for a rock to be a meteor.  Several computer models let us see what different sizes of meteors can do to the Earth if it ever collided with the Earth.  We even had a chance to launch bombs and deflectors to save the Earth from an object floating near our orbit.  This was a very informative and enjoyable activity.




<<The next RAS meeting will be Tuesday, July 12th at the SMV.

<<The next board meeting will be Monday, August 15th at Extra Billy’s at 7:00 PM (arrive earlier for dinner). Meeting is open to all members.

<<Check out the web site at


Comments are closed.