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June 04, 2020, 7:00PM: June Novice Presentation - Via Zoom

“I Have This Scope and Want to do Astrophotography”

Speaker: Don Selle
Location: Online via Zoom with chat

 

A person standing posing for the cameraDescription automatically generatedAbstract – It is a statement we hear regularly from new astronomers and it’s usually followed by a flurry of how-to questions. Most times, it is difficult to answer these questions because it can be hard to know where to start. As one wag put it: ”Astrophotography is a wide river that runs deep. It has a steep and slippery slope to get to it, is full of twists and turns, and hides many snags along the way”.

The astrophotography we see today on the internet and in various publications is magnificent and inspiring. It is also very different from other types of inspiring photography. In addition to the photographic knowledge required to produce say an inspiring landscape photo, astrophotography requires the imager to learn and use equipment and processes not used in any other type of photography.

This presentation is meant as a starting point for answering this question, and to set reasonable expectations by providing insight into the various types of astrophotography, the equipment and software used for each, and a glimpse at the skills and time required to be a successful astro-imager.

Bio – Don Selle became a new amateur astronomer and member of the Houston Astronomical Society since 2003. A year later he started learning astrophotography and he is still learning today.

His astrophotography experience has included use of both CCD and DSLR cameras, and OTAs spanning the range from a 66mm refractor to a 12-inch RC. In the past several years he has branched out into shooting Nightscapes.

Don has served as an officer and director of HAS since 2009 and was President in 2018-19, and is still chasing the dream of creating that publication quality, prize winning astrophoto.

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Since we're all practicing safe social distancing, we have decided to bring our June 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:

 https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcocOCgrjkqGtwFOF7MSxfUpPs6ecCzPWuD

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 Thursday evening June 4th!

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

June 05, 2020, 7:00PM: June Meeting - Main Presentation - Via Zoom

“Development of the Astronomical Observatory at Prairie View A&M”

Speaker: Brian Cudnik
Location: Online via Zoom with chat

 

A person standing posing for the cameraDescription automatically generatedAbstract –  Over the past couple of years, Brian Cudnik has been directly involved in the development of a professional observatory at Prairie View A&M University, and he will share with us his experiences.

At PVAMU over 400 students per semester are introduced to astronomy concepts through its physical sciences curriculum. Over the past several years, the university has been engaged at upgrading its existing Solar observatory and expanding the observatory by adding 2 new domes with 16 inch and 24 inch telescopes. The expanded observatory will enhance the hands-on experience for PVAMU students, and the popularity of Astronomy will help attract students into STEM fields and can help motivate them to move into STEM careers.

In addition, current astronomical research at the University will be enhanced, and this will facilitate the development of a Physics and Astronomy Department at the University. The new observatory will also hold public observing events will increase the public image of PVAMU.

 

Bio –  Brian Cudnik Brian's interest in astronomy dates back to the 1970’s but really picked up speed in the early 1980’s when he received his first “real” telescope, a 2.4-inch refractor, for Christmas.As a student worker while attending Northern Arizona University Brian assisted Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker with the Palomar Asteroid and Comet Survey and was working with them when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered in March 1993.

Since 2001, Brian has been the Physics Laboratory Manager at Prairie View A&M University where he has been recently working to open the new Prairie View Observatory Complex and make it available for faculty and student research and instruction. The observatory includes an existing solar telescope and two new domes housing Meade 16-inch and PlaneWave 24-inch telescopes.

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Since we're all practicing safe social distancing, we have decided to bring our June 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:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvce-pqTwsGNRCpD8q4VQEEYycPgNwCb1o

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 Thursday evening June 4th!

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

June 08, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

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.  Contact Ed Fraini ([email protected]) to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones ([email protected]) – VSIG Moderator 

August 08, 2020, 7:30PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. 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:

8:15-9:15 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
9:15-9:45 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
9:45-11:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

August 11, 2020, 7:00PM: Loaner Scope Training

Allen is back! Allen Wilkerson, Loaner Scope Chairperson, will conduct hands on training for the basic tools you need to begin serious astronomical observing. Included is nomenclature of telescope parts, setting up the Dobsonian telescope, and aligning the finder and Telrad. Also included are star charts and how to read them, Telrad operation and use, star hopping (by star chart), and Newtonian telescope collimation.
Date: Tuesday August 11, 2020
Time: 7–8:30 PM
Location: Trini Mendenhall Community Center 1414 Wirt Rd. Classroom assigned by the TMCC Staff, so check the room listing board as you walk in.
RSVP: Email Allen Wilkerson at [email protected] to reserve your spot.The first 10 members to respond will be verified and contacted to confirm their spot in class.

Note: If requested, instruction on the basics of setting up a GEM (Gerrman Equatorial Mount or polar mount) can be arranged. Please let Allen know in your email that you’d like this training.

August 13, 2020, 12:00PM: UbarU Star Party 8/13-16

Members: Save the Date!

Let us hear from you! The 2020 UBarU Star Party is scheduled for August 13 - 16 and preparations are well under way. Astrophysicist Dr. Angela Speck, Chair of the UTSA Physics and Astronomy Department, will be one of our featured speakers at the event. Dr. Speck is also Co-Chair of the National Total Eclipse Task Force. We also have returning featured speakers: astrophysicist Dr. Amanda Bayless of the Southwestern Research Institute , and Dr. Kim Arvidsson, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Schreiner University. We expect to add at least one more distinguished speaker in the next few months.

In addition to the star parties, the event will include: astronomy lectures, meals, lodging, and more, all offered at our IDA-certified Dark-Sky Park facility in Mountain Home,
Texas. In order to maintain IDA Dark-Sky Park requirements and to reasonably accommodate those who participate, registration will be limited such that no more than 100 persons.

September 12, 2020, 7:00PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. 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:

7:45-8:45 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
8:45-9:15 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
9:15-11:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

October 10, 2020, 6:30PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. 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:

7:15-8:15 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
8:15-8:45 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
8:45-11:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

November 07, 2020, 5:00PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent (if warm) or warm clothing (if cold), but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

5:45-6:45 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
6:45-7:15 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
7:15-9:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 10 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

November 10, 2020, 7:00PM: Loaner Scope Training

Allen is back! Allen Wilkerson, Loaner Scope Chairperson, will conduct hands on training for the basic tools you need to begin serious astronomical observing. Included is nomenclature of telescope parts, setting up the Dobsonian telescope, and aligning the finder and Telrad. Also included are star charts and how to read them,Telrad operation and use, star hopping (by star chart), and Newtonian telescope collimation.
Date: Tuesday November 10, 2020
Time: 7–8:30 PM
Location: Trini Mendenhall Community Center 1414 Wirt Rd. Classroom assigned by the TMCC Staff, so check the room listing board as you walk in.
RSVP: Email Allen Wilkerson at [email protected] to reserve your spot.The first 10 members to respond will be verified and contacted to confirm their spot in class.

Note: If requested, instruction on the basics of setting up a GEM (Gerrman Equatorial Mount or polar mount) can be arranged. Please let Allen know in your email that you’d like this training.

December 05, 2020, 4:45PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent (if warm) or warm clothing (if cold), 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 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 10 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

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