Richmond Astronomical Society

November 2015 Meeting Minutes

May 9th, 2016 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society
794th Consecutive Meeting
November 10, 2015

Greetings – approximately 41 in attendance at the meeting.
Jim Browder called our meeting to order in the Eureka meeting room

Announcements / Share Table
• Dues are due: RAS dues for next year are due by the end of 2015. Please pay your dues payment to our treasurer, Jim Blowers, by mail, in person at a meeting or by PayPal at Dues are $30 per year. We make every effort to keep our costs to a minimum — funds go to support our outreach efforts, club gatherings, observatory, science fair awards and astronomical league dues. Thanks very much for all of the great support from our members and friends!
• 2016 Astronomical calendars are for sale from Jim Blowers, for $6.50 each.

Library Report:
• The Road Map of the Stars – Albert Parsons, 1911
• The Friendly Stars – Martha Evans Martin, 1907
• The Observer’s Star Atlas – Harold B Webb, 1939
• Star Maps for Beginners – I M Levitt and Roy K Marshall, 1942
• Norton’s Star Atlas and Telescope Handbook, 1966
• Turn Left at Orion – Guy Consolmagno & Dan Davis, 2006

Welcome 4 Visitors:

Events and Individual Observing:
• RAS member observing,
• Science Museum,
• Staunton River Star Party,
• Solar open house

Election of 2016 Board of Directors (13):
Madhup Rathi
Jim Browder
David Medici
Jim Blowers
Matthew Roy
Michael Pitchford
John Raymond
Ken Wilson
Betty Wilson
Gary Cowardin
Ted Bethune
Michael Lico
Chris McCann

Upcoming Events
RAS Fall picnic, Belmead on the James, Saturday, November 14, 4:00 PM: RAS will have its fall picnic at Belmead this year adjacent to the mansion, followed by observing as long as astronomers have the steam and skies to observe. Please join us for the picnic and bring a dish to share — best to have the food deployed by 5:00 PM.

The Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak November 17-18 but maybe we will see some “pre-Leonid” meteors. Also, if you have a new telescope or one that you have been having trouble with, please feel free to bring it to Belmead and we’ll help get it set up. Or if you want to try your hand at astrophotography, bring a camera to couple to one of our telescopes and give it a shot. Belmead is a beautiful dark sky location in Powhatan County adjacent to the James River. Contact with any questions.

A Google map showing the location of the entrance to Belmead (5004 Cartersville Road, Powhatan, VA) is at this link

RAS Board of Directors meeting, November16, 7:00 PM, Extra Billy’s: The incoming and outgoing Board of Directors will meet at Extra Billy’s on West Broad Street. Reservations will be made for 6:00 PM for those that wish to eat. Meetings are open to all RAS members. Many thanks to all of our board members for taking care of the club’s business.

Science Museum skywatch: No skywatch at the Science Museum in November. We will resume skywatches on the third Friday of each month (weather permitting) in December.

Powhatan Holly Days Bazaar, November 21, 9:00 AM — 4:00 PM: Powhatan Holly Days Bazaar is Nov 21st at Powhatan Elementary and John Raymond is looking for a couple of solar scopes if the weather is good. RAS volunteers get a lunch and drink. Contact John Raymond at if you want to help with this event. Note that this is a daytime event.

RAS Observatory Open House, Saturday, November 21, 5:00 PM: Open house at the RAS Ragland observatory. Please contact John Raymond at if you are interested in attending.

Monthly RAS Meeting, Tuesday, December 8, 7:30 PM: At our December meeting we magically transform into the Richmond Gastronomical Society to celebrate whatever holiday you prefer this time of year or to just celebrate eating if you like. Please bring a dish to share. We will deploy the foodstuffs in the entry way to the Thalhimer Theater at the Science Museum of Virginia at 6:30 PM. Please note the earlier time and bring a dish to share. There will be no formal presentation at the December meeting. For those that cannot attend the meeting in person and wish to watch us eat, we will stream video of the meeting, starting at 6:30 PM, Internet bandwidth permitting, at the following link:

Air and Space Magazine photo contest, deadline November 15: Air and Space Magazine is having a photo contest. We received a request to pass along this information to our members. If you would like to submit an astrophoto (or other photo), see The deadline is fast approaching.

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. The inquiry was from someone working to support their efforts with astronomy interpretive programs. Anyone interested in working on this project? Please contact if so.


Presentation: “Celestial Wayfinding,” Ken Wilson

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