Next Meeting: For Spring quarter, we are meeting every Monday night, 8PM, in Ryerson 358. We usually have a short talk by a member of the club, or occasionally a member of the faculty. Titles of talks are announced via our email list, usually on the Saturday preceding the talk. See our schedule of talks for Spring 2008.
Ryerson Wednesdays: Public observing hours in Fall and Winter are 7:30-9:30 PM and 8:30–10:30 PM in Spring. Viewings are cancelled if the sky is cloudy. Take the main Ryerson stairs all the way to the roof.
Calendar:There is a google calendar with the full calendar of events.
Note: If the door to Ryerson is locked, you can enter through the south door of Eckhart. Go to the second floor and cross over to Ryerson from there. If you have trouble, you can call +1-773-702-7625 (or 2-7625 from any campus phone) which rings in the office and the dome. A map of where Ryerson Physical Laboratory is on campus is here.
Its beginnings lost in the misty shrouds of history, the observatory has existed since 1900 and the RAS as a student organization at the University of Chicago since 1952 (when our logbooks began). We operate a 107 year-old 6.25-inch Petitdidier refractor, along with a modern 10-inch (250mm) f/6 Newtonian, both mounted on a hundred and ten year old Warner & Swasey mount. The mount is painted the same color (blue) as the great Yerkes 40 inch refractor mount. Carl Sagan was a member a long, long time ago. We're prone to holding meetings every week and giving some sort of lecture on topics usually only remotely related to astronomy. More history here.
The RAS has a tradition of requesting funding from Annual Allocations for ambitious projects. Here are items we've requested in recent years:
Comet Holmes through the six-inch refractor.
Comet Holmes at Ryerson Observatory. 36x5s exposures, 0.25m f/6.
2003 UB313 animation
2005 August 8-9
RAS member Steven Lucy took these two images of 2003 UB313 at the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory, using the 41" reflector.
Yerkes Observatory Aurora
May 15th, 2005
Aurora of November 8th, 2004
Look into our old logbooks for an entry about activities in the RAS office. Here's another entry by this member regarding Chicago temperatures. Following his example, this shaky phrase still appears in modern logbooks, especially in the month of January.