January 2017 Meeting Minutes

Richmond Astronomical Society

808th Consecutive Meeting

January 10, 2017


Greetings – approximately 24 in attendance at the meeting.

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


Announcements / Share Table


Telescope for sale: Celestron Astro Master 130 EQ (#31045), two years old, unused eyepieces still in boxes. Contact Ernie Irby at 804-282-0202 or ebirbyjr@verizon.net


A new image gallery page has been created for richastro.org: On our web site, we have a new section for archiving some of the extraordinary images that friends and members have shared with us. See http://richastro.org/index.php/gallery/


Appearance of a red nova has been predicted for 2022 (+/- a year).

A prediction that star KIC 9832227 will undergo an explosion in about 2022. Researchers at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan have studied the orbital motion of the star system and believe that they understand the motion sufficiently well to predict when they will merge and for a red nova, which will result in a 10,000 fold brightening of the star, making it visible in Earth’s night sky, possibly reaching the brightness of Polaris. More info at this link:



Library Report: Virginia Eckert


Welcome Visitors:


Events and Individual Observing:

RAS members

Science Museum



Upcoming Events

Area skywatches: Currently scheduled dates below — if you can help with any of these events, please see Terry Barker or Madhup Rathi at a meeting or contact Jim Browder at president@richastro.org.

Stargazing workshop with L. L. Bean at Tucker Park in Goochland,

January 17, 7:00 – 8:00 PM (contact Jim Browder if you can help)

Skywatch at Maggie Walker

Skywatch at Matoaca Middle School, Wednesday, March 1

Skywatch at Glen Allen High School, Monday, March 6

Skywatch at Woodlake, Friday, March 24


Upcoming Star Parties:

Staunton River Star Party, March 22-26, Staunton River State Park: Outstanding star party in Halifax County; see www.chaosastro.org for more info.


Lots of regional star party action coming up — see richastro.org main page for a link to more details


Science Museum of Virginia Skywatch, Friday, February 17, 6:30

(no skywatch in January):

Please join RAS astronomers at the Science Museum of Virginia for a skywatch in conjunction with the Museum’s Science After Dark event. RAS astronomers will have telescopes deployed in front of the Museum for visitors to see celestial objects visible in the night sky. Please feel free to set up before dark.


RAS Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, February 14, 7:30 PM, Science Museum of Virginia: Please join us for the meeting and, if you can, for dinner before the meeting about 6:00 PM at Chicken Fiesta across the street from the Museum. Bring your valentine — who could ask for a better way to spend Valentine’s Day

For those that cannot attend the meeting in person, we will stream video of the meeting (internet bandwidth permitting) at:  http://ustream.tv/channel/richastro


Presentation: “The Last Apollo Mission — Over 40 Years Later — What’s Next,” Ted Bethune