Updated on March 8, 2014
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 Sky
Elected Officers for 2014:
If you have an event request, please
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
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
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,
and club newsletter.
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 application form.
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 neighboring states.
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 sites.
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.