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.

TUESDAY POPUP Observatory Training

Rene Gedaly, Observatory Trainer

** Clear weather is forecast Tuesday night so PopUp Observatory Training is a GO! ** Open to all qualified members ** Start time: 4 pm CDT **

To sign up for observatory training
  1. Check your class prerequisites (links below). Basically, you’ve been a dues paying member for at least 6 months, have taken the 2019 online orientation, and have a working knowledge of equatorial mounts. 

  2. Email your RSVP to Observatory Director Chris Ober at [email protected]. Chris will check your prerequisites and add you to the class. It’s first come, first serve to the first six students.

  3. Brown bag your dinner. We start at 4 pm and will break for dinner in the picnic area. 

Hope you’re as excited as your trainers are. Hopefully you can make it, too, but the skies won’t go to waste in any case.

All prerequisites are on the website, but in particular, make sure you've taken this year's Dark Site Orientation or you’ll miss out. 

Class Prereqs  https://www.astronomyhouston.org/content/observatory-training-class-prerequisites
Dark Site Orientation  https://www.astronomyhouston.org/about/has-observatory
Observatory Calendar  https://www.astronomyhouston.org/about/has-observatory 

** C14 refresher is also available. Contact [email protected] to sign up and/or get the new procecedure **

April 05, 2019, 6:30PM: April HAS Meeting

Trini Mendenhall Community Center

Meeting room open at 6:00pm. Come join us for some social time before the Novice Meeting at 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.

General Meeting: 7:15 PM

Energy Efficient Night Lighting for Safety, Security, Health and the Environment

General Meeting Speaker: Debbie Moran

Deborah Moran is the 2017 recipient of the International Dark-Sky Association’s Hoag-Robinson Award for education of government officials about outdoor lighting issues. For the past three years she has shared her concerns about Houston’s retrofit of its street lighting with bright white LED lights, while at the same time, many cities across the US are switching from this disruptive lighting to more “responsible” low wattage warm or soft white LEDs.

Debbie has spoken multiple times at Houston City Council meetings and various Civic Organizations to educate them about the safety, security, health and environmental benefits of responsible night lighting. Responsible night lighting is recommended by the American Medical Association since the produce less glare and reduced disruption of day/night circadian function in people and wildlife. Such disruption can interfere with sleep and cause a host of health problems.

Asterisms – Greg’s “3” Asterism

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 3/18/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
 
Constellation: Leo
Right Ascension: 09h 38m 00.0s
Declination: +15° 17' 00"
Magnitude:  8 to 11
Size: 15’ (minutes)
.
 

This asterism is called “Greg’s 3” because it was discovered by Greg Parker. It is located inside a triangle with stars Regulas α Leo, Eta η Leo and the “center” star in Cancer, Delta δ.  

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
In this eyepiece view, you can see the bright stars that make up the asterism. The circle FOV is with an eyepiece giving 80x.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here is the asterism with the “3” drawn in.

 

Here is an article from 2013 in “Earth Science Picture of the Day” publication. Read the article here.

 

Time To Renew Your Membership

Original article appears in GuideStar December, 2018.

by Mike Edstrom, TreasurerTime2Renew.PNG

Time to RENEW YOUR HAS MEMBERSHIP so you can take your 2019 Dark Site Training January 1st and get the new gate code before it changes on March 2nd! HAS memberships run from 1 January to December 31. Fortunately, renewing your membership is fast and easy!

As a renewing member you will continue to be part of one of the most active and fun astronomy clubs in Texas and continue to have access to our member benefits including:

  • Supporting our active outreach programs which show the night sky to school children and the public, and encourages interest in STEM activities
  • Access to our controlled access dark sky observing site in Columbus
  • Active Novice Astronomer programs including Nite Sky Labs at our dark sky site which teach you how to use your telescope and navigate the night sky
  • Access to our growing library of online videos of presentations of interest to both Novice and Seasoned Astronomers alike

Membership dues are a bargain. Dues amounts:

  • Regular - $36/year
  • Associate - $6 (lives at same address as regular member)
  • Student - $12 (full-time student)
  • Sustaining - $50 or more (if you want to give a little extra to keep the club strong)

As always there are three ways to renew:

  1. Renew online with PayPal - Login to your account at https://www.astronomyhouston.org/members/renew
    We greatly appreciate if you pay by PayPal because it automates the process.  With over 600 members, it saves us a lot of work.
  2. Renew at a monthly meeting and pay by check or cash.
  3. Mail a check the old-fashioned way to Treasurer, Houston Astronomical Society, PO Box 6657, Katy, TX 77491.

We hope that you will continue to support HAS and look forward to seeing you at our next meeting or event at the Columbus dark sky site!

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