Annual Picnic & Star Party – 2022

We’re all looking forward to a great time socializing at the picnic with new friends and old. But that is just half the story! The Special Interest Groups will be conducting their own unique flavor of observing out on the dark site field. Check out their programs below.


HAS Texas 45 Binocular Tour (BINO SIG)

Calling all new observers! Think you can find as many as 15 star clusters, galaxies, unique constellations, and the rarely seen, ninth brightest star in a single night? ¡Si, se puede! Many of these objects can be seen with binoculars and are even naked eye. It gets better. As a two-for-one, VSIG Coordinator Stephen Jones will confer the “HAS Annual Picnic Observing Award - Novice Level” if you log just 5 of these objects. The Texas 45 observation log is attached below and I will have copies at my table on the field. So join me for a guided binocular and naked eye tour of some of the prettiest, easiest to spot deep sky objects of the autumn sky. You’ll have plenty of time to check out the other SIGs, too. But don’t miss your chance to spot Achernar. It’s not as hard as you think! — Rene Gedaly

Visual Observing Program (VSIG)

Hello Observers! Allow me to present the official visual observing program for the picnic, sponsored by the HAS Visual Observing Special Interest Group (VSIG). There are three levels of award available and the observing lists are attached below. To qualify for the HAS Annual Picnic Observing Award - Novice Level, all you will need to do is observe and record any 5 deep sky objects from the HAS Texas 45. To qualify for the HAS Annual Picnic Observing Award - Intermediate Level, you will need to observe and record any 7 objects from the "Stephen's Favorite Objects of the Season" list. To qualify for the HAS Annual Picnic Observing Award - Advanced Level, you will need to observe and record 2 objects from the "Crazy Insane Challenge List." These observations MUST be done at the picnic to qualify. You can send your logs to me to review. Happy Observing! — Stephen Jones

Astrophotography Program (AP SIG)

If you already own a DSLR or one of the newer smartphones, a camera tracker can be a good way to get started in astrophotography. In order to get started though, you will need to acquire a few simple skills such as:

  • Planning your imaging
  • Setting up your system
  • Polar aligning your camera tracker
  • Navigating to your target

This workshop will consist of a presentation starting at 3:00pm followed by hands on set up starting at twilight.— Don Selle

Electronically Assisted Astronomy Program (EAA SIG)

If you are interested in learning what an EAA setup looks like and the steps needed to start an EAA session, join the EAA SIG site around 17:20 during the HAS Annual Picnic & Star Party! We will cover both hardware and software setup, polar alignment, slewing to a target and plate solving, live stacking and more. Questions are welcome and we will be doing EAA live during the night! — Carlos Arieu


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