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. Through education and outreach, our programs promote science literacy and astronomy awareness. We meet 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 is simple; you can sign up online, by mail or in person at a monthly meeting.

Asterisms – Arrow Chain

By: Steve Goldberg

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.

Constellation: Sagitta
Right Ascension:  19h 55m 00.0s
Declination: +17° 18' 00"
Magnitude: 9
Size:  24’ (minutes)
 
It is located in the constellation of Sagitta, which is Latin for arrow. To locate Sagitta, look for Albireo β Cygnus and Altair α Aquila. Between those 2 stars is the constellation Sagitta. There are 4 bright stars that form an arrow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here is a finder chart for the asterism. The bright star at the top is Albireo. You can see the 4 or 5 stars that make up Sagitta.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In a 60x power eyepiece you can see the “point” of the arrow pointing up, with the straight line of 3 stars forming the shaft of the arrow.
 
This asterism is on the Astronomical League’s Asterism list. See the AL program here.
 

MARS ATTACKS! Star Party at Midtown Park

On July 27, Mars will make its closest approach to earth since 2003, and won't be this close again until 2035. Join the Houston Astronomical Society at Midtown Park to observe Mars (and other planets) through their telescopes. The event is free to the public and is kid-friendly.

There is a paid parking garage below Midtown Park, as well as various street parking and surface lot options nearby.

Where: Midtown Park (2811 Travis St., Houston, TX 77006)

When: July 27, from 7pm – 10pm

Email Outreach if you have any questions.  We hope to see you there!

 

 

Congrats Certified Telescope Operators

by Rene Gedaly

Congratulations to Steven PowellJesse RobertsBartlett D. Moore IVBurke Nail, Heinz Schmidt, and Alexander Schmidt, certified telescope operators of the observatory C14 and f/5 telescopes. You, too, can be a certified telescope operator like these astronomy wizards. Contact Chris Ober, Observatory Director, to get added to the training list. 

Prerequisite Requirements for Students:
  • Must be at least 16 years of age or older.
  • Must be a Society member in good standing with all dues paid.
  • Must have full knowledge of all general site rules and have completed the general site orientation.
  • Must have been a Society member for at least 6 months.
  • Will be required to execute an observatory building use agreement which is a contract of limited liability covering all rules, regulations, and requirements governing the use of observatory building facilities. Members under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian execute the agreement on behalf of a minor user that is 16 or 17 years of age.

Trainers for 2018 are Ed Fraini, Rene Gedaly, and John Haynes.

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