Upcoming Events

Fri Jul 10 @ 8:00PM
RAC Observing Session (RACOBS)
Thu Jul 16 @ 7:00PM
RAC Imaging Meeting
Thu Jul 23 @ 7:00PM
Indoor RAC Meeting: Unravelling Starlight
Fri Aug 14 @ 8:00PM
RAC Observing Session (RACOBS)
Thu Aug 20 @ 7:00PM
RAC Imaging Meeting



The next RAC Observing Session (RACOBS) will be Friday, July 10th, 2015 at 8:00pm. Check back on the day of the observing event after 6:00 PM for go/no-go status and time.

June Meeting: Planetary Atmospheres

Speaker:  Tony Rice, Solar System Ambassador

This month's speaker was Tony Rice, one of our local NASA Solar System Ambassadors.  His topic was "Planetary Atmospheres".  Tony began by giving the club members a quiz he normally gives to teachers and broadcast meteorologists.  It had 4 questions which our group were able to answer correctly, but the area teachers and TV broadcasters (including the Daily Show with Jon Stewart) had trouble answering.  












International Sun-Day 2015

It was a very warm day on Sunday, June 21st, but the views were great! Several members brought white light and H-alpha solar scopes and set up on the bicentennial plaza outside the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The Sun provided a great show with two large sun spots and a really large prominence which just improved over the course of the observing session. About 100 folks stopped by on their way to the presentations at the museum and enjoyed the views, despite the star of the show making the temperatures near 100 degrees. Our intrepid club members stayed out for over three hours to support this event. Definitely going above and beyond!

Looking at Sunspots in a White Light Filter Looking at Prominence in a H-Alpha
AMS Sidewalk Astronomy

On June 10-12, 2015 Raleigh hosted the 43rd AMS Broadcast Meterology conference. Broadcasters from all over the country converged on the Civic Center for presentations and meetings. They also were treated to a sidewalk observation session from the Raleigh Astronomy Club. On Thursday, June 11, several members came out and set up on the sidewalk to provide views of celestial objects. Despite the city lights and storms in North Raleigh and Cary, the skies downtown were clear and seeing very, very steady. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn provided some really great views not only to folks leaving the conference, but for many which came dowtown for the free concert on Fayetteville street. Thanks again to all the members who participated in this event.

Sidewalk Astronomy SSA Tony Rice Admires A Moon Display
May Meeting: North Carolina Meteorites

Speaker: John Sinclair - PARI

John Sinclair gave an excellent talk on NC meteorites for our May meeting. John is the curator of the meteorite collection at PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) in Rosman NC near Brevard. The PARI site was originally a NASA tracking station during the 1960s and 70s and later became a DOD satcom site. Today, PARI is a non-profit institute supporting radio and optical astronomy research and education.

We learned that there are 29 sites in North Carolina from which meteorites have been recovered. Many of these were found after visual sighting of a meteor streaking across the sky. Others were unearthed by farmers plowing their fields.

Chelyabinsk Meteor











2015 State Wide Star Party

RAC Member at Howell Woods Each April, as part of the North Carolina Science Festival, dozens of State Wide Star Parties are held.  This year was no different.  The Raleigh Astronomy Club supported 4 different star parties this year:

  • Howell Woods, Four Oaks – April 18
  • New School Montessori Center, Holly Springs – April 21
  • Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park, Raleigh – April 24
  • Prairie Ridge EcoStation, Raleigh – April 24

A brief review of each event follows below…

April Meeting: Astronomy with Binoculars

Speaker: Phyllis Lang

For our April meeting, long time RAC member Phyllis Lang gave an excellent talk on Binocular Astronomy. Phyllis described the different types of binoculars available for astronomy use, how to get the most out of them and what objects look best in binoculars. Many people assume that the best astronomy observing is done with the biggest telescopes. But many objects - the moon, large open clusters and large nebula look as good or better through binoculars. Binoculars offer a wider field of view than telescopes and can provide a much better showcase for large objects or rich starfield patches of night sky.

Astronomy with Binoculars













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Howell Woods