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.

July 26, 2014, 8:25PM: Prime Night at Columbus 26 July 2014

The forecast for this weekend is looking reasonably good, so hopefully we'll have an excellent Prime Night.

Who Can Come? All members who have done the dark site orientation are welcome to join us. I'll do a constellation tour and some training in star-hopping.

If this is your first or second time out at Columbus, there will be a short meeting for a light check at sunset, so make sure that you have arrived by then. If you have questions about the light rules, contact me before Saturday.

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: Barnard 68 - Dark Nebula

President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar July, 2014.

by Bill Pellerin, President

HAS Organization Status

Thanks to some legal work, done by HAS member Scott Mitchell, the status of the Houston Astronomical Society as a non-profit educational organization has been confirmed by the State of Texas. This work was in addition to the work done with the Colorado County taxing authority to assure that the organization was not liable for property tax for our observing site. The board of directors greatly appreciates Scott’s contribution of time and expertise on this issue.

The Houston Astronomical Society Election

It’s only July, but it’s probably not too early to be thinking about the 2015 year of the HAS. The nominating committee is obliged by the by-laws to present candidates for the various elected offices of the HAS at the October meeting. This means that it won’t be long before the nominating committee will start calling HAS members to assess their interest in holding one of these elected offices.

You can get a jump on the nominating committee by contacting our VP (Rene Gedaly) and expressing your interest in one of the elected offices. There are 4 officers, 5 board members, and 9 committee leaders to be nominated. Read the by-laws to get the list of elected positions. There’s a link to the by-laws at the bottom of the home page of 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.

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

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