The 2006 convention will take place Saturday, Sept. 30, at ~Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA.
VAAS 2006 will be held ''Saturday, Sept. 30'', at ''~Randolph-Macon College'' in ''Ashland, VA''. We'll be starting at 9:00 am, and the event will feature three speakers and four workshops, followed by a picnic afterwards, and observing that night.\n\nThe Richmond Astronomical Society ([[RAS|]]) is hosting this year's event.\n\n~Randolph-Macon College is 10 miles north of Richmond, VA. Take the Route 54 west exit, and the college is just past the intersection of Route 54 and Route 1. Continue down Route 54, and you'll see college and VAAS signs on your right. We'll be in the Copley Science Center building.\n\nWe'll be at Three Lakes Park, in northern Richmond for the picnic and evening observing.
[[Latest news]]\n[[Date & Location]]
To get to ~Randolph-Macon, take the Route 54 exit off I-95, travel west for approximately one mile, and you'll see signs for the college, and we'll have a couple set up for VAAS also.\n\n[img[Ashland|]]\n\nThe address for Three Lakes Park is 400 Sausiluta Dr, Richmond, VA 23227, if you want to google it, but here's a high level map on where ~Randolph-Macon College is in relation to Three Lakes. ~Randolph-Macon is approximately where the circled "54" is at the top of the map. Three Lakes is denoted by the green arrow.\n\n[img[Ashland|]]\n\nTo get to Three Lakes, take I-95 south from Ashland, then go east on I-295, to the Route 301 (Chamberlayne on the map) south exit. Make a left at Wilkinson Road, and travel one mile to the Three Lakes entrance.\n\nAs you enter the park, you'll see a parking lot on the left, with a path leading into the woods near the handicapped parking signs. That will take you to pavilion #2, where we'll have the picnic.\n\n[img[Three Lakes|]]\n\nLeave your car in the parking lot--after dark, we'll be moving back up to pavilion #1, which is the right when you come intot the park. This area is more open, and we'll have a much better view of the sky. We were not able to reserve #1, but the party there will be leaving at dark.
''Pocket Sky Atlas'', by Roger Sinnnott (Sky & Tel)\n''double stars for small telescopes'', by Sissy Haas, (Sky & Tel)\n''Astronomer's ~VersaTool'' (Orion)\n''Waist Case Accessory Holder'' (Orion)\n''Red LED flashlight'' (Orion)\n''8 mm Plossl eyepiece'' (~TeleVue)\n''Two magazine subscriptions'' (Astronomy Magazine)\n''Unspecified book'' (~Willmann-Bell Books)\n''~NexStar 114 GT computerized telescope'' (Celestron)\n''$50 Gift certificate'' (JMI Telescopes)\n''Orion Tri-mag 3x Barlow eyepiece'' (RAS)\n''Orion Expanse 20 mm wide field eyepiece'' (RAS)\n''Red dot finder'' (RAS)\n''Orion laminated folding moon map'' (RAS)\n''Orion Deep Star star chart'' (RAS)\n''3 Celestial Sphere posters'' (RAS) \n''3 New Solar System books'' (RAS) \n''3 Night View posters'' (RAS) \n''3 Aurora posters'' (RAS) \n''3 Starbirth in Serpens (M16) posters'' (RAS)\n''Tours of the Night Sky CD'' (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)\n''50 Lessons on ETX'' (~MaxFactory)\n
[[Join the VAAS forum|]]
\n\n||''Year''| ''Site'' | ''Society'' | ''Chairman ''|\n|1| 1975 | |Richmond Astronomical Society ? | |\n|2| 1976 | | | |\n|3| 1977 | | | |\n|4| 1978 | | | |\n|5| 1979 |NASA Langley Research Center (Hampton) |Tidewater Amateur Telescope Makers |Joe Guth|\n|6| 1980 May 16-18 |Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond) |Richmond Astronomical Society |Ray Butzner|\n|7| 1981 May 30-31 |Old Dominion University (Norfolk) |Astronomical Society of Tidewater |Leonard W. Scarr|\n|8| 1982 May 15 |Chesapeake Planetarium (Chesapeake) |Tidewater Amateur Telescope Makers |Don Wright|\n|9| 1983 May 21 |Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond) |Richmond Astronomical Society | |\n|10| 1984 May 19 |Tidewater Community College (Suffolk) |Tidewater Community College Astronomical Society | |\n|11| 1985 May 25 |Patrick Henry Community College (Martinsville) |Piedmont Astronomy Club |Ray Durand|\n|12| 1986 May 10 |Va. Western Community College (Roanoke) |Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society | |\n|13| 1987 May 2 |Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond) |Richmond Astronomical Society | |\n|14| 1988 May 14 |Tidewater Community College (Suffolk) |Back Bay Amateur Astronomers |Glendon L. Howell|\n|15| 1989 May 6 |Va. Museum of Natural History (Martinsville) |Piedmont Astronomy Club | |\n|16| 1990 May 19-20 |Tidewater Community College (Suffolk) |Tidewater Community College Astronomical Society | |\n|17| 1991 Jun 8 |Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond) |Richmond Astronomical Society | |\n|18| 1992 May 30 |Univ. of Va. (Charlottesville) |Charlottesville Astronomical Society | |\n|19| 1995 Apr 1 | |Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society |Britt Rossie|\n|20| 1996 Apr 13 |Chesapeake Planetarium (Chesapeake) |Back Bay Amateur Astronomers |Kent Blackwell|\n|21| 1997 | |Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society | |\n|22| 1998 |Randolph Macon College (Ashland) |Richmond Astronomical Society |Terry Barker|\n|23| 1999 Nov 6 |Chesapeake Planetarium (Chesapeake) |Back Bay Amateur Astronomers |Kent Blackwell|\n|24| 2000 Sept 22 |(Charlottesville) |Charlottesville Astronomical Society | |\n|25| 2001 Oct 13 |Va. Western Community College (Roanoke) |Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society |John J. Goss|\n|26| 2002 |Randolph Macon College (Ashland) |Richmond Astronomical Society |Terry Barker|\n|27| 2003 Nov. 15 |Chesapeake Planetarium (Chesapeake) |Norfolk Astronomical Society |Glendon L. Howell|\n|28| 2004 |Univ. of Va. |Charlottesville Astronomical Society|Katherine Hix|\n|29| 2005 |Va. Western Community College |Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society | |\n
These are the five core clubs that rotate hosting the convention. Why only four? VAAS was in danger of dying out because there was no designee for a given year. At a couple of the conventions, no one volunteered to hold the next convention. So, to prevent that happening in the future, these clubs volunteered to share the duties, and they now know, well in advance of the date, when their turn is coming.\n\nWould your club like to join the rotation? We'd love to have you. Just email Terry Barker ( or Glendon Howell (, and we'll be happy to help answer any questions.\n\n|''Club''| ''Location'' |''Year''|\n|RVAS|Roanoke|2005|\n|RAS|Richmond|2006|\n|NOVAC|Washington, DC|2007|\n|NAS|Norfolk|2008|\n|CAS|Charlottesville|2009|
Here's a partial list of [[Ashland hotels|,+ashland,+va&ie=UTF8&om=0&z=14]]. Most of the hotels east of Route 1 are also near many restaurants, as well as being close to I-95.\n\n
We've added a workshop, to take place in the afternoon, on collimating a reflector. This is due to a request from an attendee. John Raymond, one of our long time club members, has graciously volunteered to hold this session. You'll find it in the [[Schedule]] link.\n\nWe will be having a [[Swap table]]--bring your priceless junk, and make some money.\n\nI've also added a list of people that have [[Registered]] so far. If you don't see your name here and you think you've registered, get in touch with me (\n\nI've added a link to Ashland [[Hotels]], and a description of all the speakers' [[Presentations]].\n\nWe have a vendor--[[Big Bang Astronomy Shop|]] will be joining us at the convention. They're a new store, in Raleigh, NC. They'll be bringing a couple of telescopes and some telescope accessories. Since we have essentially no stores in VA, they are a great addition to the astronomy community--and to the convention.\n\nWe've finalized the location for the picnic--it will be at Three Lakes Park in northern Richmond. The location is described in the [[Directions]] link.\n\nRuss Hummel (one of our club members) has agreed to appear in his Apollo space suit replica. He has also built a working biometrics device that measures several different temperature and blood level parameters within the suit and his body. If conditions are right, he will also try to communicate with the ISS using his two meter ham radio.\n\nJMI Telescopes has contributed a $50 gift certificate.\n\nMore good news--Celestron is going to donate a ~NexStar 114 mm GT computerized telescope.\n \nNOVAC has definitely joined our rotation of host clubs, and they will be taking the 2007 slot--this is a real shot in the arm for ~VAAS--welcome NOVAC!\n\nYou can now pay for your registration via [[PayPal|]].\n\nWe've been thwarted in our efforts to have the picnic at Poor Farm Park--stay tuned for the latest development.
[[Latest news]]\n[[Date & Location]]\n[[Speakers]]\n[[Presentations]]\n[[Schedule]]\n[[Swap table]]\n[[Vendors]]\n[[Door Prizes]]\n[[Registration]]\n[[Hotels]]\n[[Directions]]\n[[Overview]]\n[[Host clubs]]\n[[Member clubs]]\n[[History of VAAS]]\n[[Forum]]\n[[Registered]]\n
| ''Society'' | ''Contact'' | ''~EmailAddress'' | ''~WebPage'' |\n|Back Bay Amateur Astronomers|Ted Forte||[[BBAA|]]|\n|Blue Ridge Astron. Club|Leslie Layne|president@|[[BRAC|]]|\n|Blue Ridge Astron. Club|Rod Burnett|secretary@|[[BRAC|]]|\n|Bristol Astronomy Club|Roger Ball||[[BAC|]]|\n|C'ville Astron. Club|Richard Drumm||[[CAS|]]|\n|C'ville Astron. Club|Steve Layman||[[CAS|]]|\n|Echo Ridge Astronomical Soc|Elaine Osburn|||\n|Halifax Skywatchers|Joe Lightcap|||\n|National Capital Astronomers|Harold Williams|Harold.Williams@|[[NCA|]]|\n|National Capital Astronomers|Nancy Roman||[[NCA|]]|\n|Norfolk Astron. Society|Glendon Howell||[[NAS|]]|\n|NOVAC|Barnaby Harkins||[[NOVAC|]]|\n|NOVAC|Bob Parks||[[NOVAC|]]|\n|Rappahanock Astron. Club|Myron Wasiuta||[[RAC|]]|\n|Richmond Astron. Society|Terry Barker||[[RAS|]]|\n|Richmond Astron. Society|Dave Credicott||[[RAS|]]|\n|Roanoke Valley Astron. Society|Mike Overacker||[[RVAS|]]|\n|Roanoke Valley Astron. Society|Mark Hodges||[[RVAS|]]|\n|Roanoke Valley Astron. Society|Katherine Hix||[[RVAS|]]|\n|Shenandoah Astron. Society|Steve Vaughn||[[SAS|]]|\n|Shenandoah Astron. Society|Robert Bohm||[[SAS|]]|\n|Shenandoah Valley Stargazers|John Sellers||[[SVS|]]|\n|Shenandoah Valley Stargazers|Joey Reece||[[SVS|]]|\n|Skywatchers Astron Club|Marilyn Ogburn||[[SAC|]]|\n|Tidewater Comm College Astro Soc|Dennis Rowley||[[TCCAS|]]|\n|Tidewater Comm College|David Wright||[[TCCAS|]]|\n|Va.Tech Astronomy Club|Jessica Gorzo||[[VTAC|]]|\n|Va.Tech Astronomy Club|Amanda Marrione||[[VTAC|]]|\n|Virginia Peninsula Astronomy|Lawrence Taylor||[[VPAS|]]|
VAAS was founded as a result of a joint meeting in 1975 between the Richmond and original Norfolk Astronomical Society. The annual event is open to societies and the interested public across Virginia and surrounding states. Hosting of the event is passed around participating Virginia societies. A fixed host rotation was implemented after 1995 when for the 2 years prior, the convention host society faltered on having the event.
''~Cassini-Huygens at Titan: What have we learned?'', Dr. George Spagna (~Randolph-Macon College)\n\n''Space Exploration'', Donner Grigsby (NASA)\nThe speaker will present space exploration, the moon and parts of our solar system along with some wondrous propulsion technologies that should lead to faster travel. Included are some historical images from NASA's archives as well as some really interesting graphics from Hubble and even more powerful telescopes. You can also expect an exciting tour of the planet Mars.\n\n''Astrophotography for everybody'', Johnny Horne (Fayetteville Observer)\nImages are probably what draws most of us to astronomy. We associate pictures with every major astronomical event, whether it’s a comet colliding with Jupiter or a star blowing up in a distant galaxy. \n \nThe only thing more exciting than viewing a great astronomical image is shooting one yourself. Johnny Horne has photographed the sky for most of his life. Although he’s sometimes done it from overseas locations during high profile events, you’ll more likely find him shooting the skies above his backyard or from just up the road. \n \nHe’ll show some his of his more memorable astrophotos, tell the stores behind them and offer some thoughts on where amateur astrophotography is heading. Most of all, he’ll encourage you to delve deeper into the fascinating and personally rewarding field of \nastrophotography.\n\n''Apollo space suit'', Russ Hummel (RAS)\nRuss is going to appear in his replica of an Apollo space suit. He’ll be walking around the event during the day, and he’ll also be demonstrating his working biometrics module—it shows temperature levels within the space suit, and measures blood level parameters, like carbon dioxide within his body. This will be a big hit with your family members, especially kids, so be sure to bring them, too. He will also attempt to call the International Space Station on his two meter ham radio, if conditions are right.\n\n''ATM workshop'', Joe Hetmanski (RAS)\nA homemade 8 " telescope designed around material available from local stores will be displayed and discussed. The telescope is mounted on a unique fork mounted equatorial design that provides eyepiece rotation and lateral tube balancing. A discussion on mirror grinding will entail building a low cost ceramic tool in lieu of a glass tool and a demonstration of the method and equipment used in grinding the 8" mirror for the homemade telescope.\n\n''CCD workshop'', Gary Cowardin (RAS)\nWe’ll cover CCD cameras of different types, CCD TV, off the shelf digital cameras, digital video camcorders, and the CCD Cookbook camera all for astronomical photography. In addition I will discuss digital photo processing and methods of digital presentations with examples. \n\n''Club Outreach'', Terry Barker (RAS)\nRAS prides itself on club outreach. Terry will explain a variety of techniques that we use in Richmond, including public skywatches, creating a direct line to school science curriculum directors, school essay contests, Astronomy Day activities, newspaper advertising, and more.\n\n''10 Telescopic Features of the First Quarter Moon'', John Raymond (RAS)\nJohn will briefly discuss some of the best lunar features seen during the first quarter phase. Rugged mountains, seas, and craters provide the moon with varied terrain. The talk will accompany telescopic viewing of each feature discussed. \n\n''Collimation Made Easy'', John Ramond (RAS)\nPractical advice for collimating a reflecting telescope, with hands on demonstrations. \n\n''Big Bang Astronomy Shop''\nRepresenting their new store in Raleigh, NC, Big Bang Astronomy will be bringing a couple of telescopes from their store, as well as some other accessories—just enough, I’m sure, to lighten your wallet a bit.\n\n\n
Gary Cornick, CAS\nEarl Budke, RAS\nChris ~McCann, RAS\nGlendon Howell, NAS\nRichard Drumm, CAS\nKent Blackwell, NAS\nRobert Hitt, NAS\nMike Klosterman, VPAS\nCharles Jagow, BBAA\nDavid Miller, CAS\nDavid Thomas, RVAS\nJoe Hetmanski, RAS\nSusan Bender, CAS\nJohn Barnett, RAS\nJim Petty, RAS\nJack Fox, RAS\nTerry Barker, RAS\nMike Overacker, RVAS\nJerry Zaun, RAS\nDavid Credicott, RAS\nRuss Hummel, RAS\nJohn Raymond, RAS\nPrashant Reddy, RAS\nDaryl Douglas, VPAS\nJim Blowers, RAS\nCalvin Pletcher, RAS\nJoey Reece, SVS\nJim Langley, RAS\nKelly Proffitt, BBAA\nJim Browder, RAS\nBill Jeffries, RAS\nGary Cowardin, RAS
Fill in the green areas below.\n\n| |bgcolor(lightblue):''Registration - print this out and mail it in, or copy it into an email (use Paste Special, HTML format)''|\n|Name|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|Email|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|Phone|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|Club|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n\n||>|bgcolor(lightblue): ''Circle fee choice'' |>||\n| ''Fee type'' | ''VAAS only''' | ''VAAS + picnic'' | ''X # of people'' | ''= Subtotal'' |\n|Adult|$6.00|$10.00|bgcolor(lightgreen):|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|Children (12 and under)|$3.00|$5.00|bgcolor(lightgreen):|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|Students (high school or college)|$4.00|$6.00|bgcolor(lightgreen):|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|>|>|>| ''Total --->''|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|>|>|''Late fee (after Sept. 15), add $2 for each adult, $1 for each student or child''|bgcolor(lightgreen):|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n|>|>|>| ''Total + late fee--->''|bgcolor(lightgreen):|\n\n!Make checks payable to RAS, and mail with this form to:\nTerry Barker\n11536 Smoketree Dr.\nRichmond, VA 23236\n\n!or email to (use Paste Special, HTML format):\\n\nYou can also pay via [[PayPal|]]
\n| ''Time'' | ''Event'' |\n|8:00--9:00|Registration and coffee|\n|9:00--9:15|Welcome, Dave Credicott, RAS President|\n|9:15--10:15|Dr. Spagna, ~Randolph-Macon|\n|10:15--10:30|Break|\n|10:30--11:30|Donner Grigsby, NASA|\n|11:30--1:00|Lunch break|\n|1:00--1:15|VAAS meeting, all club presidents|\n|1:15--2:15|Johnny Horne, Fayetteville Observer|\n|2:15--2:30|Break|\n|2:30--3:30|Workshop - Amateur Telescope Making, Joe Hetmanski, RAS|\n|2:30--3:30|Workshop - Webcam Planetary Imaging, Bill Dickinson, RAS|\n|3:30--3:45|Break|\n|3:45--4:45|Workshop - Using a CCD for Astrophotography, Gary Cowardin, RAS|\n|3:45--4:45|Workshop - Club outreach, Terry Barker, RAS|\n|3:45--4:45|Workshop - Collimation Made Easy, John Raymond, RAS|\n|4:45--5:00|Break|\n|5:00--5:15|Door prizes|\n|5:30--7:15|Picnic, Three Lakes Park|\n|7:15--7:30|Presentation - 10 Telescopic Features of the First Quarter Moon, John Raymond, RAS|\n|7:30--??|Evening skywatch (sun sets at 7 pm)|
Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies
VAAS 2006
[img[Dr. George Spagna|]]\n''Dr. George Spagna'' is Associate Professor and Chair of the\nDepartment of Physics at ~Randolph-Macon College. He is also Director of the Keeble Observatory.\n\nDr. Spagna joined the ~Randolph-Macon faculty as Assistant Professor of Physics in 1986. He was previously Lecturer in Astronomy at Rensselaer for the 1985-86 academic year, and Lecture Demonstrator in the Physics Department at Rensselear from 1979 through 1985. He has supervised the activities of the Keeble Observatory since 1986, including extensive upgrades to the facility and its instrumentation, and was named its Director in 1989. \n\nHe became chair of the Physics Department in 1991 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Physics in 1992. He is author or co-author of papers in the Physics Teacher, the American Journal of Physics, Computer Physics Communications, Icarus, the Astrophysical Journal, and the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transport. He has also made presentations at national and regional meetings and conferences of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Astronomical Society. \n\n[img[Donner Grigsby|]]\n''Donner Grigsby'' is an engineer at NASA Langley and is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Donner is NASA’s 2004 Speaker of the Year.\n\nDonner spent his primary school years growing up in the small Village of L'Anse located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula but he returned to the Kalamazoo area, (where he was born) with his family during high school; he graduated with Honors from Portage Northern in 1977. His course work focus was mainly in the industrial education curriculum, involving classes such as metal and wood fabrication, machine shop, welding, foundry, and auto shop. \n\nDonner served in the military as a Naval Air Traffic Controller. He joined the armed forces to take advantage of the G.I Bill to help pay for his college education. Following his tour of service, he worked as a factory trained service technician (by American Honda Motor Cooperation) at local motorcycle dealerships. While employed at Honda of Norfolk, he began taking courses in the local community college system of Virginia. Donner enjoys participating in team sports such as volleyball, softball and bicycling but his all-time favorite activity is still riding motorbikes.\n\nNASA recruited Donner Grigsby in 1986 to join their 6-year Engineering Technician Apprentice Program that has produced about 1500 graduates since its inception. He was assigned to the Mechanical Equipment Support Section as an outside machinist performing maintenance and modifications to Langley's wind-tunnels and research laboratories. In 1992, he began working in engineering to design aerospace models and wind-tunnel hardware while continuing his studies at Old Dominion University (ODU). The crew systems organization selected Donner in 1996 as their Systems Integration Engineer for two elements of NASA's Terminal Area Productivity (TAP) program. \n\nTAP was a cooperative interagency effort implemented to improve the flight operations of the National Airspace System between NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and private industry. TAP was specifically interested in the development and integration of new and enabling technologies that could enhance global air transportation by making it both faster and safer. \n\nBoth programs were awarded, along with numerous other accolades, the prestigious Turning Goals Into Reality Awards (TIGR pronounced Tig-err) that he likens to being the Oscars for engineering achievement, except without the paparazzi or red carpet. \n\nDonner received his Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from ODU in 1995, and graduated from Christopher Newport University, with a Master's in Science Degree in Applied Physics and Computer Science in 2005. As part of the thesis requirement, he developed a prototype micro-gravity strength training system that is intended for use aboard the International Space Station.\n\n[img[Johnny Horne| Horne mug.jpg]]\n''Johnny Horne'' is photo editor for the Fayetteville Observer, a 70,000 circulation daily newspaper in southeastern North Carolina where Johnny has worked for more than 30 years. Johnny has been an amateur astronomer since age 10. \n\nJohnny is a contributing editor for Sky and Telescope magazine and has served as a study leader for S&T astronomical expeditions to Mexico, Africa, the Caribbean and Iceland. \n\nHe photographed Halley’s Comet from the Australian Outback in 1986 and his astronomical photographs have appeared in magazines and newspapers worldwide. He regularly reviews amateur astronomy products for Sky and Telescope’s test reports. \n\nSince 1989 Johnny has written the monthly amateur astronomy column "Backyard Universe" for The Fayetteville Observer (\n\n[img[Russ Hummel|]]\n\n''Russ Hummel'' having fun with a police officer. Russ's suit is a replica of an Apollo space suit. He has also built a functional biometrics module that measures temperature and blood level parameters inside the space suit and his body. If conditions are right, Russ will also try to communicate with the ISS with his two meter ham radio.\n
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We'll have a table set up, designated as the swap table. Jerry Zaun will assist you--bring your items, tagged with a price and your name and phone number.\n\nAll sales are between you and the buyer--RAS gets no percentage, and is not responsible for any disputes or lost property.
Orion Telescopes\nAstronomy Magazine\nSky and Telescope Magazine\n~TeleVue\n~Willmann-Bell Books\nCelestron\nBig Bang Astronomy Shop\nJMI Telescopes\nAstronomical Society of the Pacific\n