March Meeting Minutes

Richmond Astronomical Society

726th Consecutive Meeting

March 9, 2010


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:

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 :

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, , 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 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!

Read moreMarch Meeting Minutes

February Meeting Minutes

Richmond Astronomical Society 725th Consecutive Meeting February 9, 2010 —– Jim Browder called our meeting to order. Greeting & Announcements – approximately 25 in attendance at the meeting.  Please check the link to our RAS blog: Share table: Several magazines and articles were available for reading. Several eyepieces were also there for examining and … Read more

Robot kids invade

Wow, we got quite a bonus at the Science Museum last night. At the beginning of our monthly skywatch, we might see a crowd of 30 or 40 people gathered around the Kugel, waiting for us to set up our telescopes. But, as I pulled up to the entrance last night, I saw a group of about 100 people standing there. And the driveway was full of buses. It turns out that the Science Museum was hosting part of this year’s 2010 FIRST Robotics competition. So, kids had come in from all over the place, including other states.

Read moreRobot kids invade

Astronomical Events for 2010

Astronomical Events for 2010: Wow!  The calendar is already filling up with astronomical events for the year.  Thanks to Betty Wilson we have a list of some of the more notable upcoming events.  Betty discussed these during her presentation at the regular RAS meeting in March.  (Image by David Medici) ___ ___ ___ ___ March … Read more