Richmond Astronomical Society

May 2013 Meeting Minutes

Jul 10th, 2013 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society
764th Consecutive Meeting
May 14, 2013

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

Announcements / Share Table
• For individual sharing: Old SMV astronomical equipment, free for the taking. The C8 will be donated to the club.
• Brian donated a book to the club.
• It was announced that Mark Grubbs is getting a knee replacement. Please keep him in your thoughts.
• A book of April observations and drawings
• An Astronomy video
• A book to look at: a book by Eric Douglas about lunar geology

Possible Telescope Donation
The widow of an early member of the RAS has asked that we accept a donation of some telescope equipment and a number of astronomy books which she believes to be of some value. Unfortunately the equipment and books are in Atlanta. Moving the equipment will require on-site de-installation from an observatory. Realizing that this will be a significant undertaking, if anyone is interested in traveling to Atlanta to remove the equipment and transport it and the book collection back to Richmond, please contact Jim Browder at
Although this is a considerable effort, we are attempting to accommodate the request to the extent possible as a tribute to our former member who was one of the original constructors of the Ragland Observatory. At this time the potential donor has asked to remain anonymous. Based on her description, it will likely require two people to do the work.

Events and Individual Observing
Recent Events:
• SMV skywatch – weathered out
• Astronomy Day – Great!!! On Sunday this year, and had a large turnout. Consideration will be made to have it on Sunday again, if we have to.
• Belmead – well attended, several scopes, 1st clear night to observe; Jupiter and Saturn were available for viewing
• Petersburg Nat’l Battlefield – weathered out; there are a few more opportunities in the Summer for here
• East Coast Star Party – excellent, 2 good nights, others were partly cloudy or a shower; 35-40 people; Comet ISUM on view
• John Rolfe Middle – Good; Sun was up at the start; Moon started off faint but improved throughout evening.

Upcoming Events:
• Science Museum of Virginia Skywatch, Friday, May 17, 7:00 PM: RAS will have its regular monthly skywatch at the Science Museum after the LiveSky planetarium show (“The ISS”). Please join us for the skywatch and bring a telescope if you can.
• RAS Board of Directors Meeting, May 20, 7:00 PM: The next RAS Board meeting will be on May 20 at Extra Billy’s restaurant on Broad St. Reservations will be made for 6:00 PM for those that will be joining us for dinner.
• Belmead on the James Skywatch, (Saturday, June 29): Skywatch at Belmead on the James I 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 Thomas Berry Educational Center is at
• Woodlake, Saturday, June 15: Skywatch atWoodlake, 9pm – 10pm — please contact John Raymond at if you can bring a telescope to this event or for more information about the event.
• East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous (ECVAR), Sept. 29 — Oct. 6 in Galax, VA: Video astronomers — mark your calendars. The next ECVAR event will be held at a site near Galax, VA, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near the NC line, Grayson Highlands State Park and Mt. Rogers. There are great facilities, dark skies and lots to see and do during the day as well. More information is at (may not be updated yet for this year’s event, more info will be available close to the event). Also check the Night Skies Network

RAS extends welcomes to :
• Clive Callaway
• Michael Pitchford


Presentation: “North East Astronomy Forum Recap,” John Raymond
John R, Ray Moody, and Bill Jeffries attended the NEAF. John showed up several photographs of all the activities at the sun party. Many scopes aimed at the Sun. Some of the photos showed Ray and Bill holding capes over the person viewing through the scopes, to prevent light from glaring their view.
John told us about the venues, the activities, and about the history of the NEAF and about several of the regulars who attend this every year. Vendor were stationed in the cooler indoors, were many were quite successfully in their sales.
Some of the photos even showed John and his sunburn. Good presentation!!

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