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.

All Clubs Meeting Nov 7th. HAS Annual Meeting Dec 5, 2014

Original article appears in GuideStar October, 2014.
The 2014 All Clubs meeting is on November 7, 2014 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Information on this event is available at this web address: http://www.astronomyday.net/regional_meeting.html. Note that this date is the first Friday of November and the Annual Meeting of the Houston Astronomical Society would otherwise be on this day. As voted on by the membership, the 2014 Annual Meeting will be held December 5th instead.

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: R Crb — Brightest in 8 years

Original article appears in GuideStar October, 2014.

R Crb

by Bill Pellerin, HAS president & editor of the GuideStar

Object: R Corona Borealis / R Cor Bor / R Crb Class: Protypical variable star
Magnitude: 9.8
R.A.: 14 h, 48 m, 34 s
Dec: + 28 degrees, 9 minutes, 24 seconds
Distance: 6000 ly
Constellation: Corona Borealis
Optics needed: Telescope

Why this object is interesting

This object was my ‘shallow sky’ object in May 2008. While I normally wouldn’t repeat an object I’m making an exception here because this variable star is now brighter than it has been since the summer of 2007.

This star sets just at about 11:00 p.m. in October, so you’ll have to catch it early. R Crb is an irregular variable and the system consists of a star surrounded by a cloud of gas and dust that, from time to time, obscures the star and causes its magnitude to drop from 6 to about 15. Since each magnitude drop is a factor of 2.51 in brightness the 9 magnitude drop represents an almost 250 times drop in brightness. ... Click read more to see the rest of the story.

Activities of the board of directors

The following measures were voted on by the board of directors at its Sep 17, 2014 meeting:
  • The board voted unanimously to support the adoption of the modified bylaws.
  • Our vice-president, Rene Gedaly, leading our nominating committee announced that they now have candidates for all available positions. Elections are at the annual membership meeting.
  • A budget request for web-hosting of our meeting videos was approved, and a budget request for a one-time purchase of a backup hard drive was approved.
  • A proposal to establish a commercial relationship with our website hosting service was accepted.
  • A request from the observatory committee to fund the establishment of additional parking and camper spaces, and to improve existing camper spaces, was approved.
  • The board voted unanimously to recommend to the membership that the annual meeting (normally in November) be moved to December (2014).
    from the President's Message, October 2014 GuideStar

Bylaws revisions—notice of vote!!

from the President's Message, October 2014 GuideStar: Changes to the bylaws of the Houston Astronomical Society were presented to the board by three members of the executive committee - Bill Pellerin (president), Rene Gedaly (vice-president), and Bill Flanagan (secretary). Scott Mitchell has also helped with the review. The purpose of the modifications is to make the document easier to read and understand and to resolve some issues that get in the way of the organization being able to conduct its business. The board voted unanimously to support the adoption of the modified bylaws at its 9/17/2014 board meeting. Bylaws changes must be approved by the membership and will be presented at an upcoming meeting. The summary of changes, proposed bylaws, and existing bylaws documents are linked below:

HAS Texas 45 Honor Roll

Congratulations to the following members who have completed the HAS Texas 45 observing program. A special congratulations to newest awardee, Amelia Goldberg, who earned the silver level award for logging 10 objects each season plus 5 solar system objects, all via star hopping.

  • Amelia Goldberg, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #5
  • Steve Fast, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #1
  • Bob Torrey, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #2
  • Rene Gedaly, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #3
  • Chris Thiede, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #4

For more information about the HAS Texas 45 observing program, check out the Programs section of this website.

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, 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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