Richmond Astronomical Society

September Meeting minutes

Oct 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Meetings

Richmond Astronomical Society
720th Consecutive Meeting
September 8, 2009
Jim Browder called our meeting to order, in the Eureka Room.
Greeting & Announcements – approximately 34 in attendance at the meeting.

Share table:
There were a few magazines who want them.  There was also information regarding how far the TV broadcast signals have traveled since their original broadcast.
There were also a few astro-photos taken by a few of our members.

Observing and Events
Thanks to those who came by to help with the Science Museum Skywatch and the Star party at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation.
Last month’s Livesky about Jupiter drew a full house (approximately 245).

John briefly discussed the upcoming Bryan Park skywatches:
   Thurs September 24 (Rain date is Mon September 28)
   Thurs October 22 (Rain date is Mon October 26)
Masonic Home skywatch – September 29
Meadow Glen Skywatch – September 30
60th anniversary RAS dinner: Date Friday December 4th
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson will be the opening speaker of the 2009-2010 season for the Richmond Forum, on November 14, 2009.   For more information, go to
The Cafe Press Shop is functional.  Check it out and and let us know what items you would like to add.
VAAS 2009 will be on Saturday, September 12, starting at 9am at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) auditorium, 520 Edgemont Road in Charlottesville.

Discussed the process to elect the new RAS Board:  Existing members will be polled before accepting nominations from the non-board members.  Some of you will be approached to see if you are interested.
Voting will be done at the November RAS meeting.  Officers will be elected by the board the next week at their meeting, open to all members.
Jeff Pike is chairman of nominating committee.  Other committee members: Tim Streagle & Chris McCann.

Astronomical League report:
Announcement of special offer:  The 2010 edition of Guy Ottewell’s Astronomical Calendar is specially priced at $19.95 through the website , or call 800-533-5083.
Check updated topics on Astronomical League homepage to see updated weekly explanations about what to see in the night sky.
Observatory Report
Another open house is being planned in the near future, around the next 1st-quarter moon, weather permitting.
Grass has been cut recently.
John Barnette discussed an idea of using solar panels to supplement the power to the observatory.

Library Report
Virginia Eckert placed a few books on display, including a book on Aristotle.  She had to pick out a handful of books in the dark, after the lights went out in the library.
Remember that only members may check out books.

We had 3 visitors:
Dave Walton (ex-member), Mae Woodley (aunt of Ted Bethune), Bob Mason (co-worker of Jim Browder)
Welcome to all of you!!

Short Talk:
Brief discussions were held about the up-coming VAAS meeting and its topics and schedules.  VAAS 2009 will be on Saturday, September 12, starting at 9am at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) auditorium, 520 Edgemont Road in Charlottesville.

The Board met during the break to discuss and agree on the basic of the 60th Anniversry dinner.  Final date, expenses, food choices, and fund allocation.

Presentation: “Exo-Planets and the Search for Super Earths”
After our break, Ted Bethune discussed the possibility of other planets being able to contain life of any type.  His talk contained several slides depicting possible planetary situations that could possibly exist.
<<The next RAS meeting will be on Tuesday, October 13 at the SMV.
<<The next board meeting will be Monday, November 16th at Extra Billy’s at 7:00 PM (arrive earlier for dinner). Meeting is open to all members.

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