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Welcome to Houston Astronomical Society

Fostering the science and art of astronomy through programs that serve our membership and the community. 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 or by snail mail.


HAS Monthly Meeting - via Zoom

Event Date

 The Art of Visual Observing and Preserving your Observations

by Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones.jpg

Abstract –  One of the most frequently cited reasons many newcomers to astronomy give for wanting to get into astrophotography rather than visual observing is because they want to be able to show others what they looked at.  What many folks don't realize is that visual observations can be easily preserved as well, even without much artistic skill, with the right logging techniques.  Additionally, careful observation with the intent of making a good log can also improve your observational skills itself.  Stephen will discuss the fundamentals of making a good visual observation, and how to make a good record of your observations

Our Speaker – Stephen Jones  is HAS Vice President

When Stephen was six years old, his dad Stan Jones, gave him 60mm Tasco refractor and started trying to teach him to use it.  Having limited success, Stan looked for help and found HAS.  Stan’s efforts lead him to take up astronomy himself and acquire 10” Meade SCT. Stan was a regular out at the HAS Dark Site with Stephen enthusiastically along for the ride. 

Later in life, Stephen rekindled his interest in astronomy, and with a 6 inch dob from the HAS loaner program, then later a 10 inch dob and a 16 inch dob rebuilt using the mirrors from his dad’s scope, he completed the requirements for the Master Observer award. 

Stephen has also served three years as Field Trip and Observing chair of HAS, and conducts Novice Labs at the Dark Site, where he teaches the night sky and the basics of using a telescope to those new to astronomy


Since we're still practicing safe social distancing, we will bring our September Speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:

Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then.  We hope to see you online with us on Friday evening November 5th!

Joe Khalaf


Houston Astronomical Society


VSIG meeting via Zoom

Event Date

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 


Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Event Date

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky.  We won’t be able to have everyone share my scope, but if you have a scope of your own I can help you get started, or if not you can just enjoy the dark sky with your binoculars or naked eye and just begin learning your way around the constellations.  Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent, but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

5:30-6:30- detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
6:30-7:00 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
7:00-9:30 - time to observe! I will be available to assist anyone to practice locating objects with their scope, my scope, or binoculars. 
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 10 pm light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!



Event Date

Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) Special Interest Group (SIG). Come to discuss your own EAA projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding EAA "observing", EAA equipment, or just hang out and listen. All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.

Email [email protected] for more information on how to join the Zoom meeting.


Flash Star Party?

Event Date

If the weather cooperates, let’s do a flash star party and bring your own picnic. If it’s a go, I’ll send a notice to all members via the usual channels: email, Facebook group, Discord, and this website.

You bring your own picnic: food to grill, or a picnic basket, or fast food from Columbus, and a chair. I’ll be at the picnic area by 2:30pm to open things up—come by and say hi, whether you’re cooking or not! We’ll start shutting down around 4:30pm so we can finish setting up on the observing field by sunset. 

Observing is your choice. However, if you’re interested in learning to view some great objects using binoculars, I’ll have the BINO SIG sign set up on the field. Just bring your binoculars and chair. I’ll have printed sky maps, red flashlights, and clip boards for us to use.

Rene Gedaly
Field Trip & Observing Chairperson
[email protected]


"Measuring Cosmic Distances" - Novice Presentation via Zoom

Event Date

"Measuring Cosmic Distances"

by Bill Spizzirri


William Spizzirri

When we are at a dark sky area looking at the night sky, as beautiful as it may be, we are essentially seeing it only in 2D. Sure, the bright stars do seem a bit closer, but is that really the case?

Ancient Greek philosophers recognized the 2D appearance of the stars. In his model universe, Aristotle placed the stars on the inside of a crystal sphere a fixed distance from the Earth which they revolved around.

We now know much more about the universe than Aristotle ever would have imagined. Learning to measure cosmic distances was one of the keys that unlocked this knowledge, and is one of the more remarkable achievements of modern astronomy.

Bill Spizzirri will take us on a journey of discovery as he describes how modern astronomers measure cosmic distances. He will touch on the history of discovery, and describe some of the science behind the measuremts.

Our Speaker: Bill Spizzirri is a retired computer software engineer who has been studying astronomy for over 65 years. His favorite thing to do is to teach astronomy
to the public, especially children. He has been doing that more or less continuously for over 40 years. He now does it at Houston area schools and community centers. The pay is excellent, in the form of great questions from the students.


This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. To attend, you must register for the meeting. You can do so using the link below. You will receive an email with the details of the meeting and a link that will allow you to join in.


You only need to register once!

Join us Thursday, May 4th, 2023 at 7:00 pm CDST. See you then!