The next RAC Observing Session (RACOBS) is scheduled for Friday, Sep 26th, 2014 at 8:00pm. Check back after 6 PM on the day of the observing session for go/no-go status and times.


RAC members, for a list of up coming Public Observing Events for which you can volunteer to support, please click > HERE

Rare Double-CME Solar Storm

On Monday, 9/8, sunspot AR2158 got a bit unruly and erupted in not one, but two solar flares directed toward Earth. The first flare was a moderately powerful M4.6 class solar flare. But AR2158 was just getting "warmed up", so to speak, and let rip with a much more powerful X1.6 class solar flare on Wednesday. These flares stream off a tremendous amount of hot gas and charged particles that are called a coronal mass ejection (CME). Images of this flare and the comparative size of the sunspot that produced it are shown.

Sunspot size comparisonSolar flare from sunspot AR2158









NC Museum of Art Stargaze

Despite some cloudy skies, the NC Museum of Art, RAC and the Morehead Planetarium held a stargazing event, Friday August 15th, on the museum's park grounds. Over 250 people attended and patiently awaited breaks in cloud cover to tour the night sky.

August Meeting: Astronomy Apps and Websites
Speaker: Mike Keefe

2014-08-14 – August Meeting, Officer for the Meeting: Mike Keefe

Club member Mike Keefe gave a great talk on smartphone and tablet apps that can help you with your observing.  The audience had plenty of questions and feedback based upon their own experiences with these apps. About 20 apps were covered spanning the following areas: planetarium/charts, planning tools, general info tools and weather. Most of the apps are free or inexpensive.  Mike gave an overview of each app, cost, supported operating system and features. This meeting was streamed live and can be viewed on the Raleigh Astronomy YouTube channel at:

AstroApps talk - Mike K









NCMNS Title 1 School Night
On Thursday night, July 24, RAC participated in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences  
Title 1 School Night program. Over a hundred guests interacted with our exhibits in the
NRC lobby. Club members set up binocular and telescope stations along with hi-res
 images of the moon that visitors enjoyed viewing. Frank W, Doug L and Daniel K
answered lots of questions and kids enjoyed getting glow sticks for viewing the moon.


Click for largerFriday July 25 was the club's monthly observing session, RACOBS.  Clouds dominated the skies most of the day on Friday but skies cleared just after sunset and stayed clear until well after 2:30 AM when the last of the observers packed up for the night.  We had approximately 12 to 15 members in attendance and 20 or so guests including cub scouts from several different local packs.  It was great to see kids get excited about astronomy.
July Imaging Meeting: Recent Solar Images

For our July imaging meeting, there was considerable interest in the new Quark h-alpha solar filter by Daystar and it's possibilities, not just for solar imaging, but for visual observing as well.

The discussion began with Phyllis Lang showing her new Quark Daystar h-alpha filter and explaining it's specifications and performance.  Input was given by others in attendance with how it would be comparable to other brands of expensive h-alpha solar scopes on the market today.  

Next, images by our members were displayed to show the Quark's potential for solar imaging.  Images also were used to give a reference of what the Quark is capable of showing visually.

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