Rappahannock Astronomy Club
From AstronomyOutreach network
RAC is a non-profit organization of amateur astronomers located in the Fredericksburg Virginia area, including but not limited to Stafford, Spotsylvania, and King George counties. If you wish to learn more about astronomy and the night sky we invite you to attend our public star parties and monthly meetings, each of which begins with an educational program. Beginners are welcome! Owning a telescope is not a requirement -- but if you have one we'll help you learn how to use it!
One of the most important aspects of RAC is to educate the public about astronomy and to raise awareness of the negative aspects of light pollution. As a result, RAC conducts public outreach events and school lectures by request for schools, parks and other educational and civic organizations. We also conduct merit badge clinics for scouts. We can provide expert advice and instruction on telescopes, accessories, books and star charts as well as how to observe the night sky.
RAC maintains an email network for member communication and a Yahoo group for distribution of current astronomy news. In addition, RAC has a library of astronomy books, DVDs and magazines as well as five loaner telescopes (8" Dobsonian-mounted reflector, 6" equatorial-mounted Orion reflector, 6" alt-az-mounted Celestron reflector, 5" Celestron NexStar 5 SCT and 6" Orion Dobsonian-mounted reflector), a specially designed safe solar telescope and a digital astro-camera.
RAC was founded as the Triangulum Astronomical Society in 1983 by Al Ventura, who placed an ad in the local newspaper asking anyone interested to attend an initial organizing meeting at Mr. Gatti's on Rt. 1 in Fredericksburg. Twelve people showed up, and the club was born. The early days featured meetings at members houses, with stargazing afterwards. The club eventually began meeting at Central Rappahannock Regional Library and even went on field trips to places like Greenbank. The name was changed to Rappahannock Astronomy Club circa 1995-96.
Membership is open to anyone interested in astronomy regardless of level of knowledge. Owning a telescope is not a requirement. All that is needed is a desire to expand your knowledge of astronomy. RAC members are primarily from the Fredericksburg area including, but not limited to, the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, and King George.
Awards and Recognition
Clubs and Certification Programs
Public Star Party: Would you like RAC to hold a public star party for your group? Contact RAC's President, who also serves as public outreach coordinator, to request support. Past president Myron Wasiuta is also available for astronomy programs. School Program: Teachers and principals, RAC can provide a daytime in-school astronomy program for your class or assembly. Contact our speaker, David Abbou, to request support for your school. Scouting Program: Scout leaders, RAC can provide an astronomy learning session for your scout group. Contact our scouting coordinator, Glenn Holliday for details. Check out our Astronomy for Scouts page for details.