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.
For those who would like some help with new telescopes or just want to learn how telescopes work, we hold an informal “Telescope 101” pre-event beginning about 60 minutes before sunset (scheduled start time). Please feel free to come out early with your new telescope and let us help you learn how to use it.
Nightwatch is our "observer's only" session for club members and their guests 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. Our night use of the park requires a permit. Click here to log in to NASA's Night Sky Network to download the 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. The BBAA club member who coordinates this event for us is George Reynolds.
Night Hike is a summer program offered occasionally by Parks, Recreation, and Tourism department in Chesapeake. Hikers sign up in advance and pay a small fee. They are led on a nature hike by an amateur naturalist that highlights the natural nighttime environment. It culminates with a stop where BBAA volunteers have telescopes set up and offer sky tours. Hikers should contact the park at (757) 421-7151.
Saturday "Sun" Day is a free monthly solar viewing program held year-round and offered by the Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism department. Everyone is welcome to attend. Amateur astronomers set up their telescopes at the Elizabeth River Boat Landing Park with solar filters and purpose built Hydrogen-Alpha Solar Scopes for the public to view the Earth's closest star - our Sun.
Boardwalk Astronomy is held during the height of the tourist season from the month of May through September near the 24th Street stage area on the Virginia Beach boardwalk. The BBAA provides this exciting opportunity to bring astronomy to the people of Hampton Roads at the invitation of the city of Virgina Beach Parks & Recreation department and of Virginia Beach Planetarium director, Chuck Dibbs. BBAA club members set up their telescopes for views of the Sun during the day and any available planets and the Moon after dark.
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. All are welcome but space is limited and is first come first served.
Cornwatch is our "observer's only" session for club members and their guests held at Cornland Park in Chesapeake. This is where we can work with new members on using their equipment or just getting together. The session runs from dusk until dawn. Our night use of the park requires a permit. Click here to log in to NASA's Night Sky Network to download the permit.
We all want to have a great time at each event. Please follow these simple rules that keep things fun for everybody.