Richmond Astronomical Society


    Site of the Staunton River Star Party coming up in October

    Please join RAS at the Staunton River Star Party October 20-26.
    RAS is hosting an imaging workshop at the party on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
    The next meeting of the Richmond Astronomical Society will be on Tuesday, November 11, 7:30 PM at the Science Museum of Virginia.  Madhup Rathi will be presenting on India’s Mars Orbiter Mission which recently entered orbit around the red planet. The Mars Orbiter Mission has the distinction of being the least expensive Mars mission to date and the only successful first-attempt by a space agency to reach the planet.  Please join us for the meeting and for dinner before the meeting at Arby’s near the Museum, if you can! 

    East Coast Star Party is coming up on October 23-25 in Coinjock, NC.  Details here.


Persistence pays off!


At the Fall picnic we were treated to great food, marvelous company and some extremely comfortable temperatures along with beautiful views in the afternoon.  Clouds prevented astronomical observing until about 11:00 PM when they parted and offered a beautiful, clear, dark sky.  Many, many thanks to all of our members, friends and guests who attended and brought the delicious food and drink. Particular thanks to Master Chef David Medici (shown above) for coordinating and cooking and also many thank to our friends with the FrancisEmma organization at Belmead who hosted the event.  More info and images are here.

Lunar Eclipse!

LunarEclipse 20141008 trees

RAS member Bryan Hartley captured some great images of the lunar eclipse in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.  Enjoy!

Thanks to Bryan for sharing his images!

LunarEclipse 20141008 21-50

LunarEclipse 20141008 68-77



John Goss, president of the Astronomical League, found an item in a 1950 issue of the Astronomical League’s magazine, The Reflector.  The news item welcomes the Richmond Astronomical Society into the League!  Image below courtesy of John Goss.  For more information about the Astronomical League and the benefits it offers, visit  Membership in the Astronomical League is included in Richmond Astronomical Society membership.


Reflector 1950


Solar Storm Update

According to “The first of two CMEs expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field on Sept. 12th arrived on schedule. Although the geomagnetic storm it provoked was technically only minor (G1-class), Northern Lights were observed as far south as Arizona.”


Spaceweather further reports:  “A second and potentially more powerful CME is still en route. Geomagnetic storming could become strong (G3-class) during the late hours of Sept. 12th and Sept 13th after the second CME arrives. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance that geomagnetic storming will reach mid-latitudes. Sky watchers everywhere should remain alert for auroras.”


For more information see  If you happen to be in an area that has clear skies late on September 12, you might want to take a look!

Gamma Ray Burst in Andromeda (False Alarm)

Did the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission just find a Gamma-Ray Burst originating in Andromeda? Turns out the answer is no, but it’s still interesting.

Read more here.

Ripples in space time?

Were ripples in the fabric of space time truly discovered this past March? This is a World Science Festival live stream event, enabling you to listen to a singular conversation, among the world’s most respected pioneers in  cosmological theory and observation.

Big Bang & Brews | Science Pub RVA.

Supernova in M82!

A supernova has appeared in the Messier 82 galaxy – visible in moderate size telescopes and a well-placed imaging target.  More information here.

Supernova in M82 - imaged by Jim Browder