~~Recent Guest Speakers~~
And Public Events 2016-2017




June 14, 2017  ~7:00 PM @ Franklin Institute

Open House  @ Franklin Institute
Members presentations will provide topics for our final meeting of the academic year.

Meeting Notice

June 11, 2017  ~11:00 AM  @ Morris Arboretum

Solstice Steam Punk Expo
Members with solar scopes welcome to set up at the Morris Arboretum for a day of solar observations.


May 10, 2017 @ 7:15 PM The Franklin Institute -- Meeting Notice
Society Meeting 7:15 pm
In house Presenters (Shortened Presentations)
Denise Vacca: Mercury 13 Paves the Way
Ted Williams: Spring Diamond, Spectacular Bling!

Organizational Planning 8:20 pm
Time provided at meeting for feedback, development and growth.  

We want to hear from you.
Your feedback matters.  Members encouraged to attend.


 Volunteer Registration





Friday April 28, 2017

 Philadelphia Science Carnival
Saturday April 29





April 21, 2017  ~8:45 PM @ Mallon Planetarium

A Special William Herschel Event
Exclusive showing  of a new documentary on William Herschel with a cast that includes some Rittenhouse Members.

April 22, 2017  ~4:00 PM & 7:30 PM @ RittenhouseTown

Advanced Registration required to attend (no cost)

Science and Service:
An Astronomical Event with David Rittenhouse
Information posted on our Members Site, volunteers with telescopes needed to assist.

Our Past Meeting at
The Franklin Institute
Meeting is free and open to the public at 7:00 PM.  Welcome to area astronomers for a pre-meeting planning session for City Wide Telescope Night at 5:00 PM.
   Meeting Notice

April 12, 2017  ~ 7:00 PM
Dr. Derrick Pitts

Philadelphia City Wide Telescope Night

A Special William Herschel Event
@ 8:45PM

Exclusive showing  of a new documentary on William Herschel with a cast that includes some Rittenhouse Members.



April 10, 2017  ~5:00 PM  @ Centennial School District Planetarium
William Tennant High School

A Special William Herschel Preview Event
Premier of a new documentary on William Herschel at an additional  suburban location for our monthly meeting.

March 8, 2017  ~7:00 PM ~7:15 PM @ The Franklin Institute

Pete Detterline
Delaware Valley Astronomical Society
Meeting Notice



February 8, 2017 ~ 7:00 PM
Meetings are open to the general public with no ticket or fee. 
 Interested students are encouraged to attend.


Contested Constellations


The Emu in the Sky, The Southern Cross & The Crux of the Matter. 
Star Maps, Flags, Nationalism & Identity in Australia. 
Can the night sky be colonized?


Gianna Farrell


Meeting Notice


January 11, 2017;  7:00 PM

Katie Fehlinger

KYW 1060

Meeting Notice

Astronomers monitor the weather for conditions that allow them to see through the atmosphere.  When planning a night under the stars, its common to check out the forecasts starting earlier in the day and to stay tuned to a good source to see if changes will occur.  A favorite local weather forecaster Katie Fehlinger will  share what goes into the daily forecast and the long range weather outlook for the upcoming year.


December 14, 2016:  
7:00 pm Meeting
The Franklin Institute
Meeting Notice
Open to the General Public
No Admittance fee,
No membership necessary
. Students encouraged to attend.


Armand Spitz: A historical perspective on a past President of the Rittenhouse Astronomical  Society.   Joyce Towne (previously with the Fels Planetarium), now represents Spitz Incorporated will provide a unique perspective on Armand's work.



Spitz Digital Institute 2016, Chadds Ford PA
 Leading the world in Educational Planetaria
 Touching the future while training tomorrows Planetarium Professionals from across the nation!



This Past November 9, 2016  
The Franklin Institute
7:00 Doors Open Members Gather
  7:15 Call to Order
Meeting Notice
Bunnie Riedel will be our guest speaker as she represents for us historic Rittenhousetown.  David Rittenhouse would have celebrated his 225th birthday this upcoming year and Rittenhousetown has some special events in store for the celebration.  Bunnie is on the board for the preservation of the site and also is a descendent of the Rittenhouse Family line.
Historic Rittenhousetown



RittenhouseTown Gala May 17
6:00-7:00 PM
Reception and Silent Auction
7:00-9:00 PM Gala Dinner (Registration Required)

John Mercanti: American Sculptor and Engraver, the twelfth Chief Engraver of the US Mint (retired).  He will receive the David Rittenhouse Award in honor of the 285th Anniversary of David Rittenhouse’s birth in the Homestead House at Historic Rittenhouse Town.




October 22, 2016

172 Bethesda Church Road West
Holtwood PA  17532

Exelon Generation Company L.L.C  celebrates the opening of a new public observatory at Muddy Run Park


Artist Rendition: Barb Ryan

4:00 PM. 
Indoor Reception for MEMBERS AND GUESTS
(limited seating)

5:00 PM. 
Indoor Dedication for MEMBERS AND GUESTS
(limited seating)

Outdoor dedication for the general public is postponed.
(combination of weather and landscape challenges.) 
Please check back here as we are excited to prepare for multiple events that will be open to the public.


Concurrently A Momentous Occasion





"I propose that our universe
 is the most interesting of all possible universes,
and our fate as human beings is to make it so.'"




This Past
October 12, 2016  
Meeting Notice
7:00 Doors Open  7:15 Call to Order
We have an exciting line-up of guest presenters tonight,
students are welcome to attend, no ticket or admittance fee,
open to members and guests.
The Grand Tour  &
The Drake Equation

Brian Abbott ~
 Hayden Planetarium Assistant Director
American Museum of Natural History
  For the past 14 years, he has been creating a three-dimensional map of the Universe. He’s constantly updating the atlas with recent data hot off the world’s biggest telescopes and best satellites. And in the planetarium, he turns this abstract data into the planets, stars and galaxies that visitors flock to see. “What we want to do is focus on the scientific story of the Universe."

Dr. Jeremy P. Carlo ~
Villanova University
 Assistant Professor in the Physics Department.  Prior experience as Research Associate for the National Research Council of Canada.

Meeting Notice


October 1,  2016:   6:00-10:00 pm
Public Star Watch at Atsion Field NJ.
(Wharton State Forest.)  Information posted at West Jersey Astronomical Society.  Rittenhouse members team with West Jersey members for their public star watch.


Past Meeting @ The Franklin Institute:
September 14, 2016  
7:00 Doors Open  7:15 Call to Order
Drew Maser , South Jersey Astronomy Club

Meeting Notice
Join us for the start of our 2016-17 academic year, memberships available but not necessary to attend, free and open to the public.

Photo Credit Joe Stieber

Many who know Drew know of his passion for solar observing.  Drew will share with us some tips and tricks for observing, what you can expect to see, what filters will assist you to see.  Join us as we increase our solar observing skills and knowledge to prepare for the Solar Eclipse of 2017.  Drew is the past president of a partner organization of ours, the Willingboro Astronomical Society.  Willingboro is now the West Jersey Astronomical Society, and welcomes us to their star watches regularly.


September 10,  2016:   7:30 pm
Public Star Watch at Batsto Villagae NJ.
(Wharton State Forest.)  Information posted at West Jersey Astronomical Society.  Rittenhouse members team with West Jersey members for their public star watch.

September 9, 10, 11 / 2016
Wyoming High Country Lodge Star Party
The Closest  you can stay to Medicine Wheel!  Bighorn Wyoming has some of the darkest skies in the nation.  Join Ted Williams (RAS President) as he returns to WHCL as a featured speaker 2 miles from Medicine Wheel.  This historic "Mystical site" is a featured visit during your weekend stay at the Lodge.     [Activity schedule]    

Open House / All Welcome
JUNE 8, 2016

This meeting is free and open to all, students encouraged to attend.   Members will be the presenters tonight sharing their astronomical interests.  It is a great way to meet our active members and get an idea of what our o society is all about.

Member Participants:


  Lynn King

Southern Skies

Renee Stein

 Eclipse, Transit, Occultation

Adam Chantry

Celestial Soudscapes

Dan McCormick


Dave Walker

Hercules- The Strongman

Denise Vacca

Families of Planets

Cameron Planchard

☼ Check out some recent guest speakers and Events.


 Previously on this past orbit: 

» HERE «








Bloom Observatory
 Open Daily Weather Permitting 
 Franklin Institute
Details  ] 


Interested in being an active Amateur Astronomer? Contact Derrick Pitts at the Franklin Institute to see how you can volunteer.  We have an online Bloom Observatory training aid.  You can see what is involved in assisting at the observatory when operating the newly refurbished historic Zeiss telescope. 


Members of surrounding astronomy organizations are welcome and encouraged also.  The Bloom Observatory is a resource for the entire Delaware Valley Area and beyond.  

SKYTALK : A weekly discussion of what's new and interesting in astronomy with astronomer Derrick Pitts and WHYY FM's Dave Heller every Monday evening at 6:20 pm.

   Bloom Observatory Evening Hours:  
All astronomical special events

 Second Thursday of Each Month
All community nights sponsored by the Franklin
   Second Wednesday of Month - Sept. to June - after Rittenhouse Meeting 
[ Details ]





If I am visiting, where do I park?

Parking in the Franklin Institute garage (entrance on 21st street) is most convenient.  
We cannot validate parking after hours and the full rate is in effect.

Street parking is fairly abundant at meeting time since many are leaving the city.
The yellow areas highlighted below have meter parking in effect till 8:00 pm.
It is more affordable to pay for the 1 hour meter fee if you arrive at 7:00 pm. 
The spots highlighted are within view of the Franklin and are a short easy walk.

How do I enter the building if it is after museum hours?
Employee entrance shown on map is always open. 
There is a security official sitting just inside the door.
If you park in the garage, you enter through the Atrium.
Information desk or security will direct you to the meeting location.



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Last Updated  7/14/2017
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