Ryerson Astronomical Society

Constitution History Photos RChive Meeting Notes Contact Us

The Ryerson Astronomical Society (RAS) is the University of Chicago's astronomy club. Our club's purpose is to have all humanity (or all University of Chicago students, for starters) observe the celestial luminaries in hushed awe with our antique 6.25" refractor, 10" reflector, and ~60" radio telescope. Our website has information about upcoming club events; details of RAS history; a collection of astrophotographs and RAS photos; the Rchive, a vast index of RAS documents; useful space and astronomy links; and contact information for our members.

RAS activities

The dark sky trip was a success, many stars were seen. There will be a trip to Yerkes Observatory leaving Wednesday of 10th week (reading period).

The RAS also holds Monday meetings and public observation (Ryerson Wednesdays) each week (see below).

Monday meetings: We meet to hear presentations on astronomy-related topics from students and faculty every Monday night at 8 PM in Ryerson 358 (the classroom immediately at the top of the main staircase in Ryerson). To sign up to give a talk, email the organizer of an open meeting or come to a Monday meeting and write your name and tentative subject on the talk schedule.

Autumn 2015 Monday Talk Schedule
Date Organizer Speaker Topic
October 5 Mitch Spradlin First meeting General information about RAS
October 12 Carina Baker Carina Deep Sky Objects
October 19 Carrie Volpert Barack Obama White House Observing Night
October 26 Bryan Graybill Jeff Telescopes (building)
November 2 AJ Corso Will Pluto! (and Charon?)
November 9 Michael Cervia Mark Bullet Cluster and Dark Matter
November 16 Will Misener Adam Exoplanet Orbits around Binary Stars
November 23 Emily Cambias TBA TBA
November 30 John Roberts TBA TBA

Public Observation (Ryerson Wednesdays): Every clear Wednesday night from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM we have public observing at our Ryerson rooftop observatory (all the way up the spiral staircase opposite Ryerson 358). In case of bad weather, before coming please email the RAS officer in charge of observation on that night (listed below, email addresses can be found on our contacts page), to check whether we have canceled observing.

Ryerson Wednesday schedule for Autumn 2015
Date RAS officer in charge
September 30 Mitch Spradlin
October 7 Mitch Spradlin
October 14 Carina Baker
October 21 Carrie Volpert
October 28 Bryan Graybill
November 4 AJ Corso
November 11 Michael Cervia
November 18 Will Misener
November 25 Emily Cambias
December 2 John Roberts

Special events: We usually spend a night at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin every quarter to observe on the 24" and 41" reflectors. In spring quarter we have a Friday evening trip open to the public. Over 30 people went on the 2014 trip! We also occasionally visit dark-sky sites such as Willow Slough in Indiana.

Projects: The RAS is actively working on several astronomy-related projects on campus. If you are interested in becoming involved in a project, please contact the project lead (email addresses given below).

Trouble finding Ryerson? Here's a map of campus showing the location of Ryerson.

Trouble getting into Ryerson? Try entering through Eckhart and crossing over on the second or third floor. If Eckhart's locked, call our office and observatory at (773) 702-7625 (that's 2-7625 from any campus phone).

Looking for internship information? We have a brief summary of astronomy and astrophysics related internships in a Google Spreadsheet viewable at this address. We will try to keep it updated, and feel free to email the webmaster Will Misener with suggestions for additions or for the removal of no longer relavent information. Also, take a look at the list of NSF REU programs in astronomy and physics (including astrophysics).

Thanks to the University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics for webspace and technical support.