“Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton Roads”

Updated on January 21, 2014


SKYWATCH is our free public observing program held once each month at the equestrian area of Northwest River Park in Chesapeake. BBAA members set up telescopes to share the view with visitors. Everyone is welcome, and no reservations are required, although prior notification for large groups such as scout troops or classes is appreciated. The event runs from dusk until midnight. Visitors are welcome to arrive and depart at any time during the event. The event is weather dependent so attendees should check with the park at (757) 421-7151 to ensure the session will be held.

NIGHTWATCH is our "observer's only" session at Chippokes Plantation State Park near Surry. The session runs from dusk until dawn. Our night use of the park requires a permit and at least one copy of the permit must be present during the event. Members are asked to put a 9' x 11'' sign with "BBAA" in large letters on the dash of their vehicles and pay the $3.00 entry fee at the main gate. Click here to print a copy of the Chippokes permit.

GARDEN STARS is a joint program of the BBAA and the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Members of the public wishing to attend must sign up with the park and will be charged a fee. BBAA members set up telescopes to give sky tours to the patrons. A short PowerPoint presentation is delivered (by a BBAA volunteer) on an astronomical subject prior to the telescope session. The session starts about an hour before dark and the end time is variable. Contact George Reynolds.

NIGHT HIKE is a summer program offered by Northwest River Park in Chesapeake. Hikers sign up in advance and pay a small fee. They are led on a nature hike by an amateur naturalist (Dr. Dean Bohan) that highlights the natural nighttime environment. It culminates with a stop at the south terminal where BBAA volunteers have telescopes set up and offer sky tours. Hikers should contact the park at (757) 421-7151.

BOARDWALK ASTRONOMY is held during the height of the tourist season near the 24th Street stage area on the Virginia Beach boardwalk. A tent erected for the purpose will provide room for a display that includes a webcam monitor. The BBAA is embarking on this exciting opportunity to bring astronomy to the people of Hampton Roads at the invitation of the city and of Virginia Beach Planetarium director, Chuck Dibbs. Special parking accomodations will be made for astronomer participants. Club members are urged to sign up for the events on the database set up on the Yahoo e-group backbayastro . We need both members willing to bring telescopes and members to act as reliefs and assistants. Those with solar scopes may come as early as 6:00 pm. Contact Chuck Jagow.

EAST COAST STAR PARTY (ECSP) is hosted by BBAA member Kent Blackwell at the Hampton Lodge Campground in Coinjock, North Carolina twice each year. Enjoy an intimate star party in the cedars under magnitude 6.3 skies. The party is scheduled in the spring and in the fall and attracts observers from as far away as New York. Held over a weekend, Kent always hosts a Saturday afternoon cookout where he provides the hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks. Many attendees add their own dishes and the event usually turns into a grand pot luck feast. Visitors that leave by midnight can attend the observing session for free. Overnight campers pay a reduced star party rate. There are door prizes available to registered guests. Most ECSPs feature at least one vendor (Camera Concepts). All are welcome but space is limited and is first come first served.

East Coast Star Party October 2003