May 2017 Meeting Minutes

Richmond Astronomical Society

812th Consecutive Meeting

May 9, 2017


Greetings – approximately 33 in attendance at the meeting.

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


Announcements / Share Table


Library Report: Virginia Eckert


Welcome Visitors:

  • Matt Getridge
  • David McCray


Events and Individual Observing:

  • RAS members
  • Astronomy Day
  • SMV
  • Scouts
  • Staunton River State Park dedication ceremony & observing


Science Museum Skywatch, May 19, 6:30 PM: Skywatch at the Museum in conjunction with the Museum’s Science After Dark activity. Please join us and bring a telescope if you can. Feel free to set up earlier than 6:30 since we typically have visitors prior to start time.


East Coast Star Party, Coinjock, NC, May 18-20: Fun and casual observing in a dark North Carolina sky with the friendliest astronomers anywhere. The location is the Hampton Lodge Campground which offers casual stargazing. in a coastal environment. Pre-registration is not required. Fees are $20 for star party registration, $20 per night camping fee (additional fee for RN sites). Contact Kent Blackwell for information at


Cherry Springs Star Party, June 22-25, Cherry Springs State Park, near Coudersport, PA: Hosted by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, PA. More information at:


Green Bank Star Quest, Green Bank Observatory, WV, July 19-22: The quest continues! More at


The Great American Solar Eclipse, August 21: As seen from Richmond, the eclipse will be partial starting at 11:46AM, visible through 5:04 PM, peaking at 2:21 PM. Elsewhere in the US, this eclipse will be total and is not to be missed! More information at these links:


Staunton River Star Party – Fall Installment, October 16-22, Staunton River State Park: For those that have not attended, this is an excellent star party with dark skies, convenient amenities and a state park staff that is very welcoming to astronomers and second to none in their dedication to making this a successful event. More info is at


NASA Langley Open House, Hampton, Virginia, October 21: Outstanding opportunity to tour NASA Langley Research Center. More information at

Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies Annual Conference, October 21: Information to be posted as it becomes available. This year’s gathering will be hosted by the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers.


Stargazing Sessions at Staunton River State Park: Members of the Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) in conjunction with Staunton River State Park are hosting public observing sessions with observing for the volunteer astronomers after the public portion. Dates for these events are: May 19, June 23, July 21, August 18, October21 (Staunton River Star Party) and September 22. Contact the park directly regarding weather cancellations at 434-572-4623 or


Stargazing at Shenandoah National Park: Shenandoah National Park is presenting a series of stargazing events and presentations at Big Meadows Area in the Park. Events are cancelled if there is inclement weather. Call 540-999-2222 the day of the event to check on its status.

DATE                           TIME

Fri, May26                     8:30 PM

Fri, June23                     9:00 PM

Fri, July 21                     8:30 PM

Sat, Aug 12 (Perseid Meteor Shower) 8:00 PM

Fri, Sept22                     7:00 PM

Fri, Oct20                      6:00 PM


Astro-imaging Tips: “Magic Lantern — Custom Firmware for Canon Cameras,” Bryan Hartley




Presentation: “Orion vs. Falcon: Get Your Bets in Now, “Terry Barker