Rio Rancho
Astronomical Society

A Member Club of the Astronomical League

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The Rio Rancho Astronomical Society began in 1998 as an astronomy club with Rio Rancho High School.  Soon after its founding the club expanded to become an public club, independent of the high school.  Over the years, we have grown and expanded, with new members coming and going, to the current public club we are today.  We are open to all types of members, from beginning astronomers to seasoned veterans.   And no, you don't need to be a master observer or even own a telescope to join.  All you need are a good pair of eyes and willingness to learn.

The “Great American Eclipse” that occurred this past August was the first eclipse to be visible across the entire continental US since 1918. Three New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science staff members were invited to be “guest experts” for two cities that fell directly on the line of totality. Jim Greenhouse was invited by Grand Island, Nebraska and Larry Crumpler and Jayne Aubele were invited by Baker City, Oregon. They all gave presentations in these cities and enjoyed clear skies and wonderful views of the total solar eclipse. Come and hear about eclipses in general, this particular eclipse, and their “adventures in totality.”

Jim Greenhouse has been the Space Science Director of the museum for over four years.  A set of coincidences led him and members of the Rio Rancho Astronomical Society to watch the eclipse together in Nebraska and share views of the sun with approximately 1,000 people that came to the Central Community College in Grand Island.  Dr. Larry Crumpler is the Planning Lead for the Mars Exploration Rover mission and has helped guide the Opportunity rover across the surface of Mars for over 14 years from his office at the museum.  His wife, Jayne Aubele, is the museum’s Adult Programs Educator.  They are both planetary geologists who enjoy demonstrating the similarities between the geology of New Mexico and Mars.  They took several wonderful pictures of the eclipse from a hilltop in Oregon which they will show during the presentation.

Upcoming Events

Jan 19, 2018 7:00 PM

Regular Public Monthly Meeting.  Special guest speakers with be Dr. Larry Crumpler and Jim Greenhouse who will share their experiences of the Great American Eclipse.

Important Information about January Meeting Parking

The driveway to the Rainbow parking lot at the intersection of the facility and Southern Blvd. opposite Puesta del Sol elementary will be barricaded and completely closed to the public for the January meeting.  There is alternate park facility parking on the north side of the park off of the Pecos Loop entrance.

Map to Alternate Parking Lot


For more information, contact RRAS Vice-President, Melanie Templet  at 505-220-5355.

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