Are you ready to take your astronomical interest to the next level? Welcome!
The Rittenhouse Astronomical Society is the astronomy club for everyone.
 Join us on the second Wednesday of each month September through June at the Franklin Institute.
Check out recent guest speakers.    Consider meeting with others who share an interest in astronomy!    
Wondering what is in the sky this month? Bring your questions, and your enthusiasm to learn.
  Free, informative ,enlightening and fun.  No obligation to join.

~~Rittenhouse Record 2009-2010~~

 Meeting Night 6/09/2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Member Presentations

A wide variety of topics were enjoyed by our members, guest and the public which included:

Lagrangian Points
 -Frank Bellomo-
Summer Milky Way 
-Ted Williams-
Armand Spitz 
-Dr. Milt Friedman-
Eyewitness Highlights from Last flight of Shuttle Atlantis
 -Dr. Ken Kremer-

 Sky Tonight, and near future  -Alan Daroff-
New Electricity Exhibit
-Mike Mountjoy-

 Meeting Night 5/12/2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Assistant Professor
Arcadia University
Dr. Julia Plummer
Coordinator of Science Education

Arcadia University - The Tower
Glenside Pennsylvania

Observing the Observer- Dr. Plummer

Early Elementary Students' Development of Astronomy
Concepts in the Planetarium

Dr. Julia Plummer

Anyone who has set up their telescope and has shared the view takes on the role of educator.  What do our youngest observers comprehend? Dr. Plummer can share with us what concepts can be shared with children at different ages of their development.  Her work also demonstrates the concepts that our youngest observers are capable of.

 Meeting Night 4/14/2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr. Karen Vanlandingham shared information on PROJECT ASTRO.  West Chester University will be conducting a workshop this summer.

Project ASTRO is a national program that creates long-term partnerships between astronomers and teachers or youth group and community leaders.  

The philosophy behind Project ASTRO is that students learn best when using hands-on inquiry-based activities in combination with a constructivist approach to teaching.  The astronomer is a resource for the teacher both in and outside the classroom and provides students with the unique opportunity to have long-term interactions with a scientist.

Our local organization at West Chester University is looking for new astronomers and teachers who are interested in forming partnerships. Their next workshop is tentatively scheduled for
August 20-21, 2010

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Dr. Karen Vanlandingham, program coordinator, at or 610-436-2788.



 Meeting Night 3/10/2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Terry Underkoffler did an amazing job of showing of some valuable resources.  Many requested we post the sites and uses on our website for further exploration.  (Thanks Terry !)  Here are the highlights below:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

Microsoft Telescope

World Wide Telescope (WWT) enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world. Experience narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky.

Google: IGoogle

iGoogle lets you create a personalized homepage that contains a Google search box at the top, and your choice of any number of gadgets below. Gadgets come in lots of different forms and provide access to activities and information from all across the web, without ever having to leave your iGoogle page.

Diigo: Online Bookmarking Tool

Diigo is a free social bookmarking, research, and knowledge sharing tool created to mimic the ease of taking notes while providing a network for sharing and discovering information.


Meeting Night 2/10/2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   Snowed Out !  Museum Closed for Evening 
Meeting Night 1/13/2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

International Spokesperson for
International Year of Astronomy 2009
Derrick Pitts
Chief Astronomer at The Franklin Institute

Derrick Pitts Chief Astronomer of The Franklin Institute
speaks at the press conference for 'Galileo, the Medici, and the Age of Astronomy'

"A Look Back, A Look Forward"
Celebrating the Highlights of the International Year of Astronomy

It is always a great opportunity to have the Chief Astronomer of the Franklin Institute address our group.  As the national spokesperson for the International Year of Astronomy, Derrick was able to share a unique perspective on the I.Y.A. and what was achieved, and what we can carry foreword into the new year. 
Meeting Night 12/2/2009 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our final meeting of 2009 was a fitting special event to celebrate the close of the International Year of Astronomy.  Commander Ferguson spoke to members and guests in Franklin Hall of his travels to the International Space Station, and the excitement of piloting the space shuttle.  Despite the rain, a great turnout filled the hall as members and guests sat with Ben intently listening to the commander while watching selected movie clips and favorite pictures he selected to play on all four screens of the new multi-media extravaganza recently installed in Franklin Hall.  Ben Franklin was seen smiling. 

NASA Astronaut Christopher Ferguson
US Navy Captain
Spoke with Rittenhouse Members,
Franklin Members and guests this past
December 2, 2009 
Franklin Institute

Ruth List Treasurer, Ken Kremer NASA JPL Ambassador, Milt Friedman President, Chris Ferguson NASA Astronaut, Ted Williams Secretary

Meeting Night 11/11/09 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are quite fortunate to have Jerry Lodriguss as our presenter for our upcoming meeting on November 11 2009.  Many of our newer members have expressed interest in photographing their view.  Mr. Lodriguss maintains an amazing website of his photography of the sky at:

You may want to check out his work and new  book on CD-ROM "A Beginners Guide to DSLR Astrophotography" before our next meeting.
Meeting Night 10/14/09 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Members Night: Members are invited to present a short topic of Astronomical or scientific interest.  You could share information about a star party you attended, courses you would recommend, or a topic you feel would be of interest to fellow society members.  The meeting agenda is now forming.  If you want to be included on the agenda contact us with your topic.

Members Presentations Included:

Mike Mountjoy - SETI at Home
Dr. Ken Kremer -
LRO and LCROSS Post Impact Update
Ruth List -
Educational Outreach

Dr. Milton Friedman - Presidents Message
Alan Daroff - Sky Tonight
Ted Williams - Operating a Planisphere

Meeting Night 9/09/09 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fixing Hubble:
Eyewitness to Shuttle Atlantis Launch
 to save the Peoples Telescope


Dr. Ken Kremer
NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Planetary Society Field Reporter

NASA’s final human spaceflight mission to the iconic Hubble Space Telescope was dramatically accomplished by Shuttle astronauts in May 2009.   Dr Ken Kremer will present an up close eyewitness account of the thrilling launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis from the Kennedy Space Center on its historic mission to restore and upgrade Hubble to the apex of its scientific capabilities.  Ken will speak on the highlights, purpose and success of the daring shuttle flight STS -125 to save ‘The Peoples Telescope’. He will present a behind the scenes perspective with top NASA and Hubble scientists while reporting in real time for The Planetary Society and Spaceflight magazine. 

Atlantis leaving launch pad ~ Rarely seen view from inside the VAB as I peer out from the 16th Floor towards pad 17 A and crawler-way as Space Shuttle Atlantis enters atop crawler transporter. Atlantis was rolled back from the pad in late October 2008 after postponement of SM-4 servicing mission.
Credit: Ken Kremer

Atlantis Launch  Credit: Ken Kremer


                 [Last Updated  9-16-13]                   
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