Updated on January 8, 2016
ABOUT THE BBAA
The Back Bay Amateur Astronomers is a non-profit
organization dedicated to “Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton
Roads.” Founded on December 14, 1978, we are a group of amateur
astronomers drawn together by a common interest in observational
astronomy. The BBAA is an active member society of the Astronomical League
and a part of the Night
Officers for 2016:
If you have an event
fill out our form.
The public is invited to come to our free monthly “Skywatch”
at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake to take a look through our
telescopes at planets, galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, and more! Come
learn about the sky and about your place in the Universe. See our Events Calendar for scheduled
dates and more information.
Other regular public events include “Gardens
Stars” at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and “Night Hike”
at Northwest River Park. During the height of the tourist season, we
collaborate with the Virginia Beach Planetarium
and the City of Virginia Beach to host “Boardwalk Astronomy”
on the Virginia Beach boardwalk (near the 24th Street stage).
We do many outreach events throughout the year
through city parks and local schools. Organizations and members of the
public can request
an outreach event by filling out our form.
Donations to the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers are tax deductible as
charitable donations on the donor's federal income tax return!
Our monthly meetings are generally held in the
Science and Technology Building (Bldg J) at the Tidewater Community
College's Virginia Beach Campus when the school is open. Our meeting
room is usually JC-12 (on the second floor above the planetarium), but
may change depending upon classroom availability. The planetarium is
the rounded end of the J Building, opposite the observatory.
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each
month at 7 PM and are open to the public. When classes are not in
session at TCC, meetings are held at other locations as announced on
our official calendar, Yahoo
Group, and club
The BBAA scholarship program offers financial
assistance to graduating high school seniors in our area that
demonstrate an avid interest in astronomy. For details on applying,
download our scholarship
The “Rapid Robotic Response Telescope”
(RRRT) project teams the BBAA with Norfolk State University and the
University of Virginia to operate a robotic telescope at Fan Mountain
Observatory near Charlottesville. The 24-inch Ritchey-Chretien
telescope is designed to operate remotely and studies gamma ray bursts,
blazars, and other transient events. When not actively engaged in GRB
work, students in the area and our members may use the scope for a
variety of projects.
Fan Mountain Observatory,
15 miles south of Charlottesville, VA
Our members range in age from pre-teens to seniors
and span the gambit of experience from novice to advanced amateurs.
While most of our members come from the South side Hampton Roads cities
of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, we
have several members from the peninsula, outlying counties, and
We work very hard to ensure that new members are
welcomed and encouraged. Novice astronomers get the benefit of help
from more experienced observers, and those that already have years in
the hobby find observing partners and gain access to new observing
Students under 18 who have not graduated high
school and immediate family members of Regular Members can become
“Associate Members” for free! Associate Members can participate in all
club activities and receive the club newsletter by email. However, they
cannot hold office in the BBAA and cannot vote on club business.
For more information on membership, see our Become a Member page.