Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Houston Astronomical Society (HAS)! Membership has its benefits, but there’s no way to list all of them in one email. We hope that what follows below will get you off to a good start.

HAS Monthly Meetings: HAS holds its regular monthly meetings on the first Friday of each month in the auditorium of the Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd, Houston, TX 77055. Things kick off at 6:00 PM in the Astro Cafe across from the auditorium. Get a cup of coffee, a light snack, and chat with fellow members there. At 6:30 PM starts the novice presentation, followed by the main meeting at 7:15 PM with our featured speaker. Some meeting dates are moved for holidays or other special circumstances, so please check our website for the latest meeting dates and times.

HAS Website: Some great benefits of membership are unlocked only when you log into the website. How, you ask? If you signed up online, you created a username and password when you set up your member account. If you didn’t set up your own account, or if you’ve forgotten your password, then you can reset your password here: https://www.astronomyhouston.org/content/member-access. Happy exploring!

HAS Email List: Most members rely on the HAS email distribution list to get emailed timely news about club events like star parties, telescope training, outreach events, and socials. Others use this email list to discuss astronomy or ask questions about equipment. You can subscribe to the HAS Email List here: https://www.astronomyhouston.org/content/Email

Private HAS Facebook Group: Our private Facebook Group is a great way to share photos, swap stories, and ask questions in a familiar, simple to use format. It also includes a mentorship program where you can connect with a more experienced member. And if you’re brand new to the hobby, we have a growing number of astronomy skills units, including videos, that novices find helpful. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/AstronomyHouston and click + Join Group.

HAS is Social: Sure, HAS is on social media! In addition to our private Facebook Group, HAS hosts a public Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HoustonAstronomicalSociety/, a Twitter account (@HoustonAstroSoc), and we’re on Instagram (astronomyhouston).

HAS Loaner Scopes: No scope? No problem! Borrow one of a garage full of loaner telescopes before you take the plunge and buy your own. Loaner telescope training is scheduled throughout the year and a brief how-to operate overview is given during delivery of your loaner scope at the monthly meetings.

HAS Programs: If you have an interest in a particular aspect of astronomy, we probably have a program or Special Interest Group for you. A particularly active group, and certainly one of the most fun, is our Outreach group. Event notices for all programs go out via the Astrolist, but also check the website events calendar for the latest.

HAS Dark Site Observatory: The HAS Dark Site Observatory is located 80 miles west of Houston in the dark skies of Columbus, Tx. An online orientation is required that gives you access to observing pads with nearby electricity, picnic and camping areas, restroom and shower facilities, and separate bunkhouse rooms for men, women, and families. No scope? Reserve one of the loaner telescopes housed onsite. Experienced members are also candidates to take training on the permanently mounted telescopes of the HAS Observatory. This is astronomy heaven close to home.

On a personal note, I hope you find membership in the Houston Astronomical Society as rewarding as I have. It didn’t “take” for me the first time I joined. While it was easy to join, it wasn’t always easy to connect. Years later I gave it another try, this time becoming active thanks to some very welcoming members. If you aren’t finding your place within HAS, I hope you’ll let me know. If astronomy is your thing, HAS is the place. We’ll help you connect.

Rene Scandone Gedaly
HAS Membership Chair
[email protected]

 

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