Welcome to Houston Astronomical Society

Founded in 1955, Houston Astronomical Society is an active community of enthusiastic amateur and professional astronomers with over 60 years of history in the Houston area. The club meets on the first Friday of each month at the University of Houston. Membership has a variety of benefits, including access to a secure dark site west of Houston, a telescope loaner program, and much more. Joining our club is simple; you can sign up online, by mail or in person at a monthly meeting.

August 01, 2014: August 2014 Monthly Meeting

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Doug Holland
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Near Infrared Brightness of the Brighter Planets
General Meeting Speaker: 
Richard W. Schmude, Jr.
About the General Meeting Presentation

Richard has carried out brightness measurements of the brighter planets in visible light since 1991. On April 25, 2014, he made his first brightness measurement using the J and H filters. The J and H filters are sensitive to light with wavelengths of 1.25 and 1.65 micrometers, respectively. Visible light has wavelengths of between 0.4 and 0.7 micrometers. The brightness of Venus is consistent with the light being reflected off of the cooler layers of its atmosphere. This is not the case for Mercury. It is very bright in the H filter. The albedo of Mars levels off in the J and H filter which is different from what it does in visible light. Jupiter is dimmer in the J and H filters than in visible light. Saturn’s rings have a big impact on that planet’s brightness. These results and others will be presented in this talk.

Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held in the Science & Research building at the University of Houston Main Campus. The novice meeting is in room 116, the general meeting is in room 117.

NOTE NEW PARKING INFORMATION: Parking is available in lot 15C. Refer to the Google Map below for directions. This parking is available from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on the Friday night of the HAS meeting.

This parking is free. If you get a notice from the UH campus police on the night of the meeting, call the UH Security office and let them know that this area has been made available on HAS meeting night by the Parking Department.

Map to Parking

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: Gamma Equuleus

Original article appears in GuideStar August, 2014.

Gamma Equuleus

by Bill Pellerin, HAS president & editor of the GuideStar

Object: Gamma Equ
Class: Star
Constellation: Equuleus
Magnitude: 4.7
R.A.: 21 h 10 m 21 s
Dec: 10 deg 07 min 51 sec
Size/Spectral: 1.8 solar mass, F0
Distance: 118 ly
Optics needed: Unaided eye

Why this object is interesting:

Gamma Equ is a double star, but don’t be distracted by that idea.

President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar August, 2014.
The HAS Bylaws There are numerous changes that need to be made to the HAS by-laws to simplify it and to make the business of the HAS more manageable ...
The HAS Elections for 2015 This is the August GuideStar, and the nominating committee is obliged by the bylaws to present candidates for the various elected offices of the HAS at the October meeting ...
Great Things Happening You’ll see in the Observatory Corner report in this issue that we’re soon to have an all-sky camera at the HAS observing site thanks to a donation ...
Meeting Videos Available to Members Only The board voted to restrict access to the meeting presentation videos to members only. Links to these videos are on the HAS web site ...

Access Members-Only Site Features

If you're a current member, you'll want to log in and check out the member features. As a member, you can post photo galleries, edit your club profile, send private messages to other members, post in the trading forum, and more. If you have a valid email address on file with the club, you already have an account ready to go. Here's how to access it:

  • Go to the Password Reset page
  • Type in your email address and click "E-mail new password"
  • Check your email and follow the instructions in the password reset message

If you have any problems, drop a note to webmaster@astronomyhouston.org and we'll get you sorted out.

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