Training on the Observatory Telescopes

August 07, 2021, 4:00PM: Training on the Observatory Telescopes

Rene f5.png****PRE-APPROVED TRAINEES**** 

  • Meet in the parking lot by the observatory in time for class, which starts at 4PM. 
  • Brown bag a dinner for the break around 7PM; we’ll eat in the picnic area (closer to the restrooms, too).
  • This is summer, so the first light window is at MIDNIGHT and the second light window is at 2:00 AM. Plan accordingly.
  • You will need to stay through at least the first light window to demonstrate your skills as it does not get totally dark until 9:41PM.
  • Observatory Director Chris Ober will give the Go/NoGo on weather Saturday morning.
    Remember: the nighttime weather often clears in summer and is often very different from the weather in Houston. 

Rene Gedaly
Observatory Trainer

Yes! The observatory is back in business and we will be training new telescope operators! On Aug 7 at 4:00 pm we will conduct training on the care of the observatory building. We will also cover the skills needed for manually operating the equatorial fork-mounted, f/5 12.5” Newtonian telescope and the AstroPhysics GoTo mounted, f/10 Celestron C14 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. After a dinner break, we will reconvene to test your knowledge under the (hopefully) starry skies of our Dark Site Observatory. We will not cancel unless a total cloud-out is forecast. 

Details about signing up will be announced around July 31st, so check the email list often. Also, there are other requirements for taking training, which you can read about here. And here:

The HAS Observatory is available to members who have completed an additional training course on usage of the building.  To be eligible to attend an Observatory Training Course, members must be at least 16 years of age, be up-to-date with the Dark Site orientation and be a member in good standing for a minimum of six months.  Those interested in attending this training who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also a member.  Underage members whose parents are not members may attend the training, but will not be eligible to use the observatory unless supervised by a trained adult user.

Prior to observatory training, users are required to have knowledge of basic telescope functionality and procedures and to have a working understanding of equatorial-mounted astronomical telescopes. For a complete review of these topics, members can log into the website and view Allen Wilkerson’s entertaining talk on Go-To Telescopes. It is also recommended, though not required, that users be familiar with using TheSkyX software.

The class typically begins in the afternoon and runs well into the evening so that trainees can demonstrate their understanding under nighttime conditions.

Training to use the 12” RCOS telescope for imaging requires a separate training orientation which is open to those who have successfully completed the Observatory training.

All training sessions are at the discretion of the Observatory Director. Contact Observatory Director Chris Ober for more information.

Rene Gedaly
Observatory Trainer
C-14 and 12.5” Newtonian

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