Back Bay Amateur Astronomers
From AstronomyOutreach network
The BBAA's motto is "Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton Roads" and we have many events throughout the year to advance that goal. On "Astronomy Day" we team up with the Virginia Beach Public Library to celebrate astronomy. Our members set up filtered telescopes to view the sun and the moon, and take the opportunity to talk to library patrons about our hobby. We do many events throughout the year with the Departments of Parks and Recreation for Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. We also are building a relationship with the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and have done several evening events we call "Gardenstars". You'll often find our members at the local planetariums too, where we set up telescopes and interface with the public.
Their basic goal is to encourage an interest in astronomy (and especially amateur astronomy) throughout America. Many people have seen pictures of the other planets in our Solar System from spacecraft, but have no idea that they too can see these objects with a telescope. We want people to get access to telescopes, whether it is through their local astronomical society, school, or their own instruments, and use them to view the beauty in the heavens.
The mission of the Astronomical League is clearly stated in the masthead: to promote the science of Astronomy. The major benefit of belonging to this organization is receiving the quarterly newsletter, The Reflector, which keeps you in touch with amateur activities all over the country. The chance to meet the people you read about there occurs during our annual National Convention, or at one of the ten regional conventions that the AL sponsors.
The easiest way to become part of the AL is to join one of our member societies close to you. A benefit of membership in this society is membership in the Astronomical League and part of your society dues goes to pay for your Reflector subscription.
Membership in the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers is open to anyone with an interest in Astronomy. Telescope ownership is NOT required. Youngsters are welcome, but should only attend events with a parent or other trusted adult.
Awards and Recognition
Clubs and Certification Programs
The BBAA actively participates in our "community"; both the local community and the wider astronomical community. The BBAA scholarship program offers assistance to graduating high school seniors in our area that demonstrate an interest in astronomy. The club mentors and assists school science and astronomy clubs. The club is proud to be an active partner with NASA's Space Place. An active member society of the Astronomical League, the BBAA created one of the League's observing programs, the Planetary Nebula Program.
Our outreach efforts extend to local schools. We attend events like science fairs and PTA meetings at several area schools each year. Every year the list of schools that invite us to participate grows and we now average about twenty such events each year. We would like to do even more and each year we attend the Tidewater Association of Science Educators (TASE) conference to advertise our availability to local educators.