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.

Larry Mitchell's Markarian Galaxies Talk from TSP 2015

Enjoy Larry's talk at this year's TSP about Markarian Galaxies and the 2015 Advanced observing program. Larry is a long time member of HAS and we're very proud of the dedication and hard work he's put into the advanced observing program for over 15 years at TSP. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to explore HAS while you are here. Active members get access to our monthly meeting presentations online, exclusive access to members only forums and Facebook groups, and much more. Thanks for watching!

President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar May, 2015.

by Rene Gedaly

We hope you’ve been enjoying our monthly meetings, both the novice sessions and the speakers at the general membership meetings. Longtime members will notice our meeting arrangements have changed a bit. We’ve found that meeting in the same room for both meetings helps streamline setup and allows the best sound system for all presenters ...

Texas Star Party. Are you going this year? Steve Goldberg has e-mailed Netslyder subscribers some especially good info about what to bring, how to set up on the field and where ...
Audit Committee. HAS is run by an army of volunteers, too. Here again we find Scott. You may have seen him recently filling in at the badge table or setting up a rather rickety easel ...
Urban Observing.  (C)oordinating the effort: Steve Munsey ... serving as a contact person for impromptu observing get togethers at George Bush park when good skies allow ... 
Observatory. Every time I get ready to share some breaking news about the observatory, I find Mike Edstrom has already moved on to the next big thing. In his April Observatory ...
Board Meeting. Speaking of board meetings, the next one is Tuesday, May 26, at the Houston Arboretum ... Don Selle will be facilitating at a workshop ... Your input will be solicited ...

Click read more for the complete article

New director, Bill Kowalczyk

Thuban‒The Once and Future Pole Star

Original article appears in GuideStar April, 2015.

by Bill Pellerin, GuideStar editor

Thuban Finder Chart

Object: Thuban
Class: Star
Magnitude: 3.7
R.A.:   14 h,  04 m,  23 s
Dec:   64 degrees,   22 minutes, 33 seconds
Distance:   309 ly
Constellation: Draco
Spectral:  A0
Optics needed:  Unaided eye, binoculars or a small telescope

Why this object is interesting:

This star is also known as Alpha Dra, even though it’s only the 7th brightest star in the constellation. Why? It’s not clear why, but the star has been and will again be the star closest to the projection of the north pole of the Earth.

It was in 2500 BC that the star Thuban was closest to the north pole. TheSky (software) puts it at approximately 1.5 degrees away from the pole. Polaris was 32 degrees from the pole. We all know that the Earth wobbles on its axis and completes a wobble cycle in 26,000 years. In another 2000 years or so Errai (Gamma Cep) in Cepheus will be our pole star...

HAS Facebook Group now live ‒ Join today!

 The Houston Astronomical Society now has a Group on Facebook.

Groups are great because you can post news, photos, thoughts, and questions within the confines of our members-only group and with much less clutter.

Check it out:

     Log into your Facebook account.

     Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/astronomyhouston.

Like what you see? If you're a member of HAS, click the Facebook Join button and one of the social media admins will let you in.

Not a member of HAS yet? What are you waiting for?

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 view the observatory weather-cam, post photo galleries, send private messages to other members, post in the trading forum, view recorded presentations, 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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Get Connected!

HAS has begun using RainedOut, a text message service, to communicate late-breaking news about events. Click here to learn more and subscribe!

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