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.

June 03, 2016: June Membership Seminars

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
The Art of Observing
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Scott Mitchell
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Texas Star Party Roundup; Science Fair Presentations
General Meeting Speaker: 
Houston 2016 Science & Engineering Fair Awardees
About the General Meeting Presentation

HAS is very pleased to have the following Science Fair students present their HAS award-winning project at our main meeting:

  • Andrew Cianciolo:  “UV Light Will Take Your Sight”
  • Aaryan Shenoy:  “Photographic Emulsions in Gratzel Cells”
  • Anirudh Suresh: “Modeling Sharp Jumps in Flux Tube Entropy in the Earth's Magnetosphere”
  • Nithin Parsan:  “Applying Kirigami Design to Create NextGen Sun Tracking Solar Panels”
  • Hasnain Khan and Mujtaba Hussain:  “Novel EHD Devices and Their Use With Spacecraft”

At the Novice Session

Learn astronomical sketching from our own Scott Mitchell. He’s good. Learn a few tips from a master.

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

Watch LIVE as Mars Comes Closest to Earth in a Decade, Monday, May 30th

On Monday, May 30th, at 8:00 PM CDT, Slooh will bring brilliant views of Mars as it gets closer to Earth than it has in more than a decade. These views are made possible thanks to a brand new Slooh Solar System telescope recently commissioned at Slooh’s Canary Island Observatory.

You can go to Slooh.com to join and watch this live broadcast, snap and share your own photos during the event, chat with audience members and interact with the hosts, and personally control Slooh’s telescopes.


Larry Mitchell Presents "The Science of Byurakan" from TSP 2016

Enjoy this in depth video presentation and talk by our very own living legend, Larry Mitchell, as he explores some of the most significant science that came out of the Soviet Union that most of us never knew about, until now. (Be sure and full-screen so you can see his presentation content)

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: Stargate Asterism

Original article appears in GuideStar May, 2016.

by Bill Pellerin

Object:  Stargate
Class:  Asterism
Constellation:  Corvus
Magnitude:  6.6 (brightest star)
R.A.:    12 h, 35 m,  59 s
Dec:    -12°  03’ 09”
Size/Spectral:  About 6 arc minutes
Distance:  35.9 ly
Optics needed: Small telescope

The first time I ever heard of the Stargate asterism was when I picked up a copy of John Wagoner’s 2013 observing list at the Texas Star Party. It seems that the asterism was mentioned earlier by the well known observer Philip Harrington in a May, 1998 article in Sky and Telescope magazine. (John may yet be the originator of the name, though.)

That’s not the earliest identification of this star grouping, though. I have written about the Struve dynasty of double (and multiple) stars in the past. In 1832, Otto Struve cataloged the pairs AB, AC, and BC. Additional pairs were cataloged after Otto’s death, but clearly he saw the collection of stars quite early on.

President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar May, 2016.

by Rene Gedaly

HAS Women’s SIG Meet ’n Greet

HAS Women of all ages braved the weather to meet at Amelia Goldberg’s home for the first meeting of the HAS Women’s SIG. We talked about telescope workshops, observing the HAS Texas 45 as a group, the upcoming barn raising of the new bunkhouse, and some exciting possibilities for a December social—this in lieu of our typical meeting during finals week at the University of Houston. At present we’re a group of 17 members but there’s room for you! Contact info@astronomyhouston.org.

In the know...


  • The Video Team is expanding. Welcome Mario Moreno! Mario will back up Rob Morehead as videographer and is an experienced video editor at Channel 13 TV.
  • Mike Edstrom and I signed the rental agreement for the last personal observatory lot. Wow. The Observatory & Dark Site is the place to be.
  • And how about this? The website saw 101,700 views in 2015. That doesn’t just happen. It takes teamwork and continuity. Thank you Web Technology Team: Heather Houston, Drupal Admin, User Support; Michael Murphy, Front end Developer, Look & Feel; Bill Krahmer, Back end Developer, Programming; and of course, Mark Ferraz, Webmaster and Web Technology Committee Chair.

Astronomy at Liberty High School


The Education & Outreach Team continue to broaden their mission of bringing astronomy education to the community, in this case to Liberty High School, a unique HISD Charter school that offers night classes (4P-10:45P) for 18-26 year old ELL students who are working diligently to earn a high school diploma after work.

A special thank you to Ray Gedaly, who spoke to Mr. Moult’s science class about the solar system. Steve & Amelia Goldberg, and Ray & Rene Gedaly, Joe Khalaf and Debbie Moran brought telescopes to show students the moon and Jupiter.

Astronomy truly transcends any language barrier.

HAS Dark Site Access

The HAS Dark Site is available to all members in good standing who have:

1. Paid their current year’s dues
2. Have been a member for a minimum of 2 months
3. Completed the online site orientation training

Need to complete your training? Here's how:

1. Log in to https://www.astronomyhouston.org/
2. Click the "About the Society” tab
3. Click the “Our Observatory” subtab 
4. Scroll down and click the “Start Your Training” button.
    You get 3 tries and pass with an 80%.

See you at the HAS Dark Site Observatory!

Don't miss out ...

Membership has its privileges and a very popular one is access to our recorded presentations. Just ask Videography Chair Rob Morehead. How many thousands of views are we up to now, Rob? It's the best astronomy value anywhere. Join now!

HAS Online Store

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!

Night Sky Network