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.
Because there was not a quorum (15% of members) at the November meeting a vote on the following items has been deferred until the December, 2013 meeting. The quorum requirement will still apply. If we fail to have a quorum at the December meeting, the vote will be deferred until the January, 2014 meeting without additional notification.
Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
General Meeting: 8:00PM
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.
Parking is available in lot 15F as shown in the accompanying diagram (provided by the University of Houston Parking Director Paul Lozano). This site is off Cullen Boulevard, just south of the new parking garage. The University of Houston has been provided a list of meeting dates for the Houston Astronomical Society to the end of 2013. UH campus police have those dates on their calendar and will not issue citations for HAS attendees.
Next Prime Night at Columbus will be Saturday, 7 December.
UPDATE - Forecast is looking terrible for Saturday, so this is CANCELLED.
It will be a great time to take a break from the holiday rush and enjoy an evening under the stars. The winter constellations of Perseus, Orion, Auriga, Taurus, and Gemini will be at their best. Lots of good Messiers will be up - Great Orion Nebula, the open clusters in Auriga, and M35 in Gemini plus the Double Cluster in Perseus.
Object: Gliese 445
Class: Star — the destination of Voyager 1
R.A.: 11 h 47 m 41.4 s
Dec: 78 deg 41 min 28.2 sec
Size/Spectral: M (red)
Distance: 17.6 ly
Optics needed: Telescope
A refreshed version of the Texas 45, attached here, is now available and includes the following changes:
Only active HAS club members in good standing can post to the forum
Club members *do not* need to register to post on this forum. The forum membership database is synchronized with the main HAS site database.
Log in to http://www.astronomyhouston.org and click the forum tab, you will be authenticated without having to re-enter a username and password.
Registrations submited via the forum registration system are ignored, as the club has no way of verifying that registrations come from active HAS club members.
Are you interested in developing skills in observational astronomy? Want to see all kinds of objects and not just those available the first week in May? Well, put down the Sky & Tel, pack up the scope, and head out to Columbus for the HAS Texas 45! Observers who successfully complete this observing program will be presented both a pin and a certificate of completion at the HAS general membership meeting. Observe 45 objects to earn the silver level award; all 60 gets you the gold.
HAS Program Chair and Master Observer Brian Cudnik has graciously made his new eBook available for complimentary download right here on the HAS Website. It's titled "The Art and Science of Visual Astronomical Observations" and it's a great homage to some of the awe-inspiring aspects of observing at the eyepiece. It's also chocked full of practical techniques for observing and suggestions for how visual observers can contribute to the science of astronomy. In Brian's own words...
The purpose of this book is to provide the visual astronomer, especially the beginner, a greater sense of appreciation of each object he or she observes. In addition, I want to instill a greater sense of wonder for the universe as a whole, to discover for oneself one‘s place in the universe and the privilege to be able to contemplate these ideas. Most of the chapters in this book will be divided into two parts, the “art” (named―“appreciation”) section and the “science” (or “application”) section. You may say, “Sure it may be just a ‘white dot’, but consider what is hidden in that ‘white dot’…”; I want to help with the second by discussing the physical nature of the ‘white dot’, I hope to stimulate observers’ interests to keep looking. This is the “art/appreciation” portion of the book, which also seeks to share my own passion for these things. The “science/application” part of the book outlines how amateurs who either cannot afford the sophisticated equipment becoming more widely available, or just prefer to use their own eyes to view celestial objects, can make a contribution to astronomy as a science.
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 email@example.com and we'll get you sorted out.