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.

October 01, 2016, 9:00AM: All Hands On Deck!!!

AllHandsOnDeck.jpgWe have a major work party coming on October 1st beginning at 9 am at the Columbus Dark Site. We need at least 8 people as we will be unloading sheetrock and exterior paneling and starting to install the sheetrock in the new bunkhouse

We will be using a lift to raise the sheetrock to the ceiling but we need people to install the sheetrock and people to cut as needed. We will not be installing the exterior paneling that day but storing it in the bunkhouse. 

The more people we have the faster it will go so please RSVP to Mike Edstrom at medst22531@msn.com by Tuesday September 27th and mark your calendars!!
 
We are getting very close to having this project completed and appreciate all your help!!

7 Nov 2016 Election Notice: Call for Director Nominees

Membership

At the November 7, 2016 Annual Membership Meeting, the Society will hold an election to fill a vacancy on the board of directors.

Web Technology Chairperson Mark Ferraz has accepted nomination by the President to fill the vacancy.

All members in good standing are also encouraged to throw their hat in the ring. Nominations will be taken from the floor.

President’s letter

Original article appears in GuideStar September, 2016.

by Rene Gedaly

HooksAirport.jpgOBSERVE SELFISHLY. JOIN AN OUTREACH EVENT That’s right. By giving others a look through your scope, you’ve carved out precious time for your own observing. It attracts the community, sure, but it also keeps your own skills sharp. Or maybe you don’t know your way around the skies or don’t have your own telescope. Show up and look through what’s already there and find out which type of telescope you do like. It’s like speed dating the loaner telescope program and the scopes are lined up for you.

ART IN ASTRONOMY: MEMBER PHOTO GALLERIES One of the things you miss as a website lurker is the personal photo galleries of HAS members. The post-processing required of the imager takes the work and skill of a day job and so far, I haven’t succumb. Still, it doesn’t keep me from appreciating the artistry of many of our members. If you’re a member, log in and see what your clubmates are doing. If you’re not a member, dues are pro-rated your first year, so now’s a great time to try us out. Click the Join HAS tab on the website.

Observatory Corner

Original article appears in GuideStar September, 2016.

by Mike Edstrom

sep2016bh.JPG

The roof is now on and one of the a/c units is installed so inside work can begin in comfort. Hopefully we can get the insulation installed and then the siding done soon. We will continue updating the process as milestones are achieved.

Please watch the web site for future announcements as the training sessions on the new MX and 12” RC scope in the observatory which everyone that has been trained on using the observatory must take has been finalized and will be announced soon.  

Summer constellations are up and waiting for you at the Columbus Dark Site, hope to see you there soon.

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: The Methuselah Star – Oldest Star in The Milkway

Original article appears in GuideStar September, 2016.

by Bill Pellerin
Methuselah.JPG

OBJECT: HD 140283, HIP 76976
CLASS: Metal Poor Sub-Giant Star
CONSTELLATION: Libra
MAGNITUDE: 7.26
R.A.: 15 h, 43 m, 1.86 s
DEC: -10° 56’ 5.62”
SIZE/SPECTRAL: F3
DISTANCE: 190 ly
OPTICS NEEDED: A small telescope, binoculars

Here’s an odd one. I first heard of this star while watching a Great Course lecture in the series ‘The Life and Death of Stars’ by Keivan Stassun. Interestingly, to me, I had never heard of this star before, but it may be one of the more fascinating stars in the sky. The very early universe had much smaller quantities of the heavy chemical elements in it. Why? Because the heavy elements are created (fused, actually) in stars, and in the early universe there had not been enough time for stars to form, live their lives, and seed the universe with these heavier elements. Why? Because the heavy elements are created (fused, actually) in stars and in the early universe there had not been enough time for stars to form, live their lives, and seed the universe with these heavier elements. By ‘heavier’, I mean those elements in the periodic table beyond hydrogen and helium...

Take your dark site orientation online

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/ (The log in is at the top of the page. Log in with your username and password. Click FORGOT PASSWORD if needed. A password reset link will be emailed to the address you gave when you joined.)
2. Click the "About the Society” tab
3. Click the “Our Observatory” subtab 
4. Scroll down and click the “Start Your Training” button.
    Ten questions and you get 3 tries to pass with an 80%. Easy. See you at the dark site!

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