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 – Eiffel Tower, Cluster NGC 2158

By: Steve Goldberg
Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
Constellation: Ursa Major
Right Ascension: 13h 10m 00.0s
Declination: +57 °31' 00"
Constellation: Gemini
Right Ascension: 06h 07m 25.0s
Declination: +24° 05' 48"
This asterism and star cluster NGC 2158 both look like the famous tower in Paris, France, the Eiffel Tower.  The asterism is easy to locate because of its proximity to the Mizar and Alcor stars in the handle of the Big Dipper, as seen in this finder chart.  The second, categorized as a star cluster, is very close to M35 in Gemini.
In a 13mm eyepiece at 147x magnification, this is the view in the eyepiece of the asterism Eiffel Tower.
The cluster NGC 2158 looks like an Eiffel Tower, also. In this chart, the cluster is to the upper left of M35, which makes it easy to locate.

Congrats Certified Telescope Operators

by Rene Gedaly

Congratulations to Trevor Arnold, Doug McCormick, and Tim Lewis, 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.

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