BACK BAY AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS


"Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton Roads"

BACK BAY AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS

"Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton Roads"

BACK BAY AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS


"Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton Roads"

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Welcome to the BBAA website

We are a group of dedicated amateur astronomers drawn together by a common interest in astronomy. Our club was founded on December 14, 1978 by members dedicated to promoting amateur astronomy.

We invite you to come to our any of our free monthly events to take a look through our telescopes and learn more about the night sky.

The BBAA is an active member society of the Astronomical League, a part of the Night Sky Network, and a member of the Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies (VAAS). We are also active on social media. Please visit our social media pages on BBAA Yahoo Group, BBAA Facebook Group, BBAA Twitter page, BBAA Facebook page and Instagram to stay up to date with our club's latest activities.

Clear skies

Masks and social distancing are required at any of the limited events that BBAA is holding..

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

(APOD)

Click on the picture to open the APOD website for a higher resolution image with a description of the photo

What's Happening This Month

All events marked with * below are free, kid friendly, and open to the public. Events marked with a $ have a small fee required by the event organizer.

** Until further notice social distancing and the wearing of a mask at all BBAA events is required. Due to the COVID-19 virus any BBAA event may be canceled at anytime.

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Earth Perihelion

TThe Earth will arrive at its closest point to the Sun in its orbit, known as perihelion—a distance of 91,399,454 miles—at 8:51 a.m.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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Quadrantid meteor shower

"This year’s Quadrantid meteor shower is predicted to occur six days after the full Moon. Unfortunately, a bright gibbous Moon will curtail most attempts to view this fine annual shower, which is noted for its intense and sharply peaked display. This year, maximum activity for the “Quads,” which only lasts for a few hours, is 10 AM in the East and 7 AM in the West. What this means for the Quadrantids is that their very sharp peak will be missed in the Eastern US and will come around sunrise in the West. The Quadrantids produce 60 to 120/hr, but six hours before and after the peak the rates are only about one-quarter as strong. So Easterners will likely see rates of about 15 to 30/hr, while Westerners will likely see rates climb toward perhaps 40 to 80 or even 50 to 100 per hour before the sky gets too bright. Under better conditions in good years, a single observer between midnight and dawn might expect to see 40 to 60 of these moderately swift blue meteors per hour. The shower’s radiant—the point from where the meteors will appear to dart from in the sky—is halfway between the head of Draco and the end of the Big Dipper’s handle." - The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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Mercury is at greatest elongation

"Mercury is at greatest elongation, 18.6° east of the Sun. From about January 21st to 28th, you should see Mercury fairly easily if you look west-southwest from a spot with an unobstructed horizon 30 minutes after sunset. At that time Mercury is at least 10° above the horizon for observers around latitude 40° north. If you keep watching as the sky grows darker, you may see that Mercury is flanked by the stars Fomalhaut far to its left and Altair even farther to its right, but at magnitude -0.5, the speedy planet is far brighter than either star." - The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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In the BBAA In the Sky
JANUARY 7: BBAA Meeting (Virtual) JANUARY 2: Earth Perihelion
JANUARY 16: Skywatch JANUARY 13: New Moon
JANUARY 21: Garden Stars JANUARY 14: Quadrantid meteor shower
JANUARY 23: Saturday "SUN" Day JANUARY 21: Mercury is at greatest elongation
JANUARY 23: Saturday "SUN" Day

If you're planning to attend an event, please see our Event Information page. There you will find useful information about BBAA events and links for directions to our observing sites. Please also take the time to read our expected event etiquette for all attendees.

To see event details on the Night Sky Network head over to our club's Calendar page and click on the event you want more details about.

For more information on what's happening in the sky this week, see Sky & Telescope's "This Week's Sky at a Glance" page.

Jupiter Asteroid Impact Detection Project

Our club is helping assist with this project. You do NOT have to be a member of our club to participate. If you are interested in contributing please see our Jupiter Asteroid Impact Detection Project page.

Benito Loyola's GIF animation of an imaging run from 2019-05-28-0145 to 2019-05-28-0516 GMT of Jupiter and its moons.

Observing Programs

BBAA club members dues pay for Astronomical League (AL) membership. This membership allows our club members to participate in the many Astronomical League observing programs. The AL programs are designed to provide a direction for your observations and to provide a goal. The programs have awards and pins to recognize the observers’ accomplishments and for demonstrating their observing skills with a variety of instruments and objects. The BBAA was responsible for creating the Astronomical League's Planetary Nebula Program. A detailed history of the programs inception is available on our page. For further information on observing programs, see our Observing Programs page or the Astronomical League's official page.

Planetary Nebula Program

Lapel pin awarded for completion of the Planetary Nebula Program

Current Solar System Configuration

This interactive 3D model shows the today's configuration of the major bodies of the Solar System along their orbits.

BBAA Contact Info

Have questions? Drop us a note!

BBAA, PO Box 9877, Virginia Beach, VA 23450-9877

Information email contacts all club officers

Email info (at) backbayastro (dot) org

BBAA Twitter Feed