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 via Zoom the first Friday of each month for the General Membership Meeting and the first Thursday of the month for the Novice Meeting. 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.

HAS Texas 45 Honor Roll

Congratulations to the latest Texas 45 awardees: Kailash Mirpuri and Ron Birkhoff. Both earned the gold level award. You can see your name in lights, too. Join Ron and Kailash and the following members who have completed the HAS Texas 45 observing or imaging program. Congratulations!

  • Texas 45 pin cert.pngSteve Fast, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #1
  • Rob Torrey, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #2
  • Rene Gedaly, program author, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #3
  • Chris Thiede, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #4
  • Amelia Goldberg, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #5
  • Craig Lamison, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #6
  • Clayton Jeter, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #7
  • Brian Cudnik, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #8
  • Steve Goldberg, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #9
  • Craig Lamison, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #10
  • Mike Edstrom, bronze level award, 40 seasonal objects plus 5 solar system objects with a OSC camera, certificate #1
  • Kailash Mirpuri, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #11
  • Ron Birkhoff, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #12

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

Hunting the Hunter: Observing Orion - Night Sky Network

by David Prosper

nsn-logo.pngThis article is distributed by NASA Night Sky Network

The Night Sky Network program supports astronomy clubs across the USA dedicated to astronomy outreach. Visit nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov to find local clubs, events, and more!

Hunting the Hunter: Observing Orion

If you are outside on a clear January night, it’s hard not to notice one distinctive star pattern above all: Orion!  While we’ve covered Orion in earlier articles, we’ve never discussed observing the constellation as a whole. Perhaps you’ve received a new telescope, camera, or binoculars, and are eager to test it out. Orion, being large, prominent, and full of interesting, bright objects, is a perfect constellation to test out your new equipment and practice your observing skills - for beginners and seasoned stargazers alike. 211229km_nsn_photo.jpg

Messier Column - January 2022


211229km_M13-onbehalf-of-JKing_cite-CartesDuCiel.png

by Jim King

By the time you read this column, I expect the new year will be well on its way. With the JWST having been launched, hopefully we will be treated to answers to some nagging questions.  Freely admitting I am not an expert, my understanding is JWST will be working hand in hand with Hubble.  What an exciting future for astronomy!

For my own meager contributions in this column, since we have been on this journey for a while, new objects in easily observable time frame are getting a little hard to come by.  This month’s trio M5, M13 and M83 are easily seen… as long as you don’t mind staying up until well after midnight.

So, here we go.

Website is Read-only

As previously announced, our website is in the process of migration and redevelopment. This means that any content added or changed from November 2021 forward will need to be recreated on the new website when it goes live. The online site orientation is also no longer available on the current site. Please contact President Joe Khalaf at [email protected] for the latest information. 

Field Trip & Observing: Looking Up

ReneGedaly_FTO_caption.pngRene Gedaly – Field Trip & Observing Chairperson

Hello, Members! Jim King has passed the baton and I am your new Field Trip & Observing chairperson for 2022. H.A.S. has already "opened back up" with hybrid meetings and Outreach events. Can Field Trip & Observing events be far behind? In a word: Absolutely Not ;-) Here's a taste of what FT&O has in store.

2022 Schedule of Field Trip & Observing Events

  • Messier Marathon. Our first event of the year is the spring Messier Marathon at the Dark Site. The year 2022 brings us two good Saturdays to run the marathon: March 5 and April 2 (rain date). We'll have several tracks of marathon running in parallel: traditional, Go-To, imaging, binocular and EAA! Don't sit on the sidelines. Jump in and see what it's all about. Oh, and to get us prepared, I’ll be giving a talk on the HAS Messier Marathon at the Thursday, February 3, 2022 Novice meeting—not just for novices.
  • Texas Star Party. The Texas Star Party is early this year and, as usual, HAS will be there in force. If you're new to the major star parties—or even if you're not—this year you are invited to get together for a little hospitality and to learn the ropes with other HAS members. TSP is 24 Apr – 1 May, 2022.
  • Astronomy at the Beach. This one's for you, Moms and Dads. Did you ever try to get your littles interested in astronomy only to have cloudy skies on that one weekend you had free? We've got a solution: Astronomy at the Beach. Hopefully it will be nice clear skies, but if not, there's always swimming, nature walks, and fishing. Fingers crossed that I nab Saturday, June 25 when the Galveston State Park reservations open up.
  • Annual Picnic. To many of us long-time members, FT&O means the Annual Picnic. This year, it falls on Halloween weekend, Oct 29. Costumes for kids of all ages is encouraged but let's up the ante and do a late night "scary object" observing theme. Think Orion the Hunter taking aim at the Pleiades and some of our own fine imagers taking aim at the Witch Head Nebula
  • Themed Observing Nights. Lastly, on scattered prime nights, we'll have some themed observing nights like globular clusters, meteor showers, or a Texas 45 marathon.Visual, imaging, and EAA observers should make for a great group in this ever widening hobby of ours.

As always, events are subject to the weather. Say! Have you got an idea that you’d like to help make happen? Contact Rene Gedaly at [email protected].

Upcoming website changes at HAS

1:16 PM 11/15/2021 admin
Send questions to President Joe Khalaf: [email protected] 

Change is coming to the website and we are excited about what this new platform will do for our club and how it can scale and adapt as we continue to grow and transform as an organization.

What are we migrating?  All of our website content and our membership database.  This includes articles, dark site and observatory log reports, user photos in the photo gallery, and more.
When are we starting the migration?  Migration should begin Monday, November 15, and should be completed by the beginning of the year.  We’re hoping it’s done much sooner, but have built in time for contingency planning.
So what does that mean to you?  The migration to our new platform will take a few weeks to complete and should appear transparent to our members. All of these are related to CREATING and MODIFYING content on our website, not READING or CONSUMING it. Here’s how you can help:

  • Please hold off on renewing your membership until our migration is complete. 
  • Please do not upload your astrophotos to our member’s photo gallery until the migration is complete.
  • Do not upload your dark site or observatory log reports to the website once we start the migration.
  • Don’t make modifications to your profile.

For full details, refer back to the email Joe Khalaf sent to all members on November 15, 2021.

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