March Meeting Minutes

Richmond Astronomical Society

726th Consecutive Meeting

March 9, 2010

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Jim Browder called our meeting to order in the Eureka room.

Greeting & Announcements – approximately 29 in attendance at the meeting.

Please check the link to our RAS blog: http://richastro.org/index.php/category/blog/

Share table:

Several articles about the Moon and about the recent Mars approach, were available for reading.

Several eyepieces were also there for examining and also purchasing.  There was also donated telescope hardware, free to a good home.  Most was gone before I got a chance to see it.

There was an announcement about an annual public study involving dark sky measurements.  This year was from March 3-16. The following description was taken from  www.globeatnight.org :

GLOBE at Night is an annual 2-week campaign in March. People all over the world record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. They submit their measurements on-line and a few weeks later, organizers release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last four GLOBE at Night campaigns, volunteers from over 100 nations have contributed 35,000 measurements.

If you missed it, keep it in mind for next year.

Reminder:  In a recent meeting, Ottewell Astronomical Calendars were on display. RAS members can purchase the Ottewell Astronomical Calendar through a special website,  www.Universalworkshop.com/clubs.htm , or call 800-533-5083. 

It claims the sale price of $19.95 expires on December 31, 2009, but still displays it.  Give it a try.  If not, the regular price is $26.95.

Past Events:

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the last Skywatch at the Science Museum on Friday, February 19.  The event was well attended as was the January skywatch.  At one point, there were 10 telescopes and 1 pair of binoculars, for use with the crowd of an estimated 150.  

“A great night” was had by all at a recent skywatch at Brandermill.  The estimated 40 people enjoyed the views through the telescopes.

Bill Jeffries was telling us about an extremely clear night on the Duck River about a month ago.  The rough thing about the night was a 24 degree temperature reading.

 

Upcoming Events:

Outreach events: On Friday, March 26th, RAS will have a skywatch at Scotchtown in Hanover County.  You may recognize Scotchtown as the Hanover County home of Patrick Henry.  It is scheduled to start at 7:30pm.  There are 2 more scheduled for later in the fall of 2010.  Contact John Raymond at raymond7419@verizon.net if you can help.

Astronomy Day 2010 is planned for April 24 at the Science Museum.  We are looking for volunteers to help with the activities.  We are also considering alternate plans for this year’s skywatch.  There are 2 proms scheduled at SMV on the night of our Astronomy Day.  Therefore, we need to move the skywatch to a different location, or possibly a night earlier to Friday night, the 23rd.  More information will be available later.  Probable activities for that day include solar observing through telescopes, making sundials, dark sky information, CCD astro-imaging, a starlab planetarium, a scale model of the solar system, radio telescopes information, light pollution education, a meteorite exhibit, door prizes, a life-like space suit, and the ever-popular soda bottle rocket launch!

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