Ryerson Astronomical Society

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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 Fall Quarter 2014

Information about special RAS events will be posted here. The RAS will also hold Monday meetings and 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 to give a talk, come to a Monday meeting and write your name and tentative topic on the talk schedule, or email John Roberts.

Autumn 2014 Monday Talk Schedule
Date Speaker Topic
October 6 First Meeting Overview of RAS activities for the quarter and brief presentation on observational astronomy
October 13 Champ Somboonpanyakul The Direct Imaging of Exoplanets
October 20 Carina Baker The Space Race
October 27 N/A Showing of Neil DeGrasse Tyson Cosmos episode, project day
November 3 Paul Williams The Dark Energy Survey: DECam, Blanco, and Cerro Tololo
November 10 Carrie Volpert TBA
November 17 TBA
November 24 TBA
December 1 Prof. Richard Kron Prof. Kron studies distant galaxies and quasars using survey techniques. He is involved in the Dark Energy Survey, the Giant Magellan Telescope, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Ryerson Wednesdays: Every clear Wednesday night from 7:30 to 9:30 PM we have public observing at our Ryerson rooftop observatory (all the way up the spiral staircase opposite Ryerson 358). During Winter quarter, please email an RAS Officer before coming, to check whether we have canceled observing due to the weather.

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 40 people went on the 2010 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 John Roberts 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.