Upcoming Star Parties

July 2018

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July 21, 2018, 7:00PM: Julydoscope

Julydoscope is a space-inspired film event that's put on by the Houston Cinema Arts Society at Discovery Green in the heart of downtown Houston.  This event will feature lots of activities, including screenings of the short film finalists, and is FREE to the public.

Event: Julydoscope

Where: Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010)

When: Saturday, July 21, 2018, from 7:00PM - 10:30PM

Number of volunteers needed: 6+. 

Email outreach@astronomyhouston.org if you can help out as a volunteer!

July 24, 2018, 7:00PM: BOD Meeting - Zoom Meeting

The July BOD meeting will be a Zoom Only meeting. Link to follow via email.

 

July 27, 2018, 7:00PM: MARS ATTACKS!!! Mars Star Party at Midtown Park

This summer sees Mars’ closest approach to earch since the 2003 opposition,, and it won’t be this close again until 2035!  Join the Houston Astronomical Society at Midtown Park where we’ll look for the Red Planet through telescope.  This event is open to the public and is FREE for all to attend!  Email Outreach if you’d like to volunteer.

July 27, 2018, 7:30PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Buck Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Buck Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7:30 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

July 28, 2018, 7:30PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Buck Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Buck Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7:30 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

August 04, 2018, 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 mosquito repellent and plenty of water, 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 midnight light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to stephenj@astronomyhouston.org (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

August 11, 2018, 4:00PM: Observatory Training - CLASS FULL

Your August 11 Trainers
  • Building Operations and emergency procedures: John Haynes
  • C14 and f/5 Telescope Operations: Rene Gedaly
  • Student skills validation: Rene and John

Club Members,

The Observatory Training Schedule for 2018 has been set.  Remaining training dates are: March 3rd, May 19th, Aug 11th, Oct 20th . 

Prerequisite requirements for students:
  • Must be at least 16 years of age or older.
  • Must be a Society member in good standing with all dues paid.
  • Have full knowledge of all general site rules and have completed the general site orientation.
  • Must have been a Society member for at least 6 months.
  • Will be required to execute an observatory building use agreement which is a contract of limited liability covering all rules, regulations, and requirements governing the use of observatory building facilities. Members under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian execute the agreement on behalf of a minor user that is 16 or 17 years of age.
To sign up for training

Email your request to take observatory training to Chris Ober, Observatory Director, at ChrisO@astronomyhouston.org. Your RSVP will be accepted on a first received basis as the training sessions are limited to six students per session.  More sessions can be added as needed. Once your prereqs have been verified, you will be added to the next class or placed on a waiting list. About a week before training, Chris will email you a copy of the Observatory Operator Guide. Print this guide and bring it with you to class.

Training Overview

Training covers opening and closing the observatory, operating the 12.5”  f/5 and C14 telescopes, and the procedures for securing the building in case of emergency. You must take this general training before you can register for training on the 12” Ritchey-Chrétien imaging telescope, aka “Bob’s Dream.”

Training starts at 4:00 PM and covers the topics below. The August 11 training session is the same night as the Perseids Meteor Shower Picnic so students are invited to stay onsite for the potluck dinner. At sundown students will reconvene to demonstrate competence in these areas:

  • Understanding the burden of responsibility for the facility
  • Documenting  "as found condition and as left condition" of the observatory
  • Proper use of startup and shutdown procedures for the telescopes
  • Use of emergency procedures

Note: Training sessions will be conducted even with cloudy skies; the backup dates will be used only in the event of or threat of rain, which would preclude opening the roof and training on emergency building procedures.

HAS Observatory Committee

August 11, 2018, 6:00PM: Perseid Meteor Shower and Picnic at Columbus Dark Site

The 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower promises to be one of the more spectacular in recent history. On Sat., Aug 11, 2018, mark your astronomical calendars to join your fellow enthusiasts at the Columbus Dark Site to enjoy a picnic-style covered-dish (or open-bag) dinner and camaraderie followed by an evening of extreme meteor show-time.

According to Astronomy, "The Perseids feature a slow (two week) buildup to maximum...and many bright trails visible for several seconds...

In 2018, the New Moon fortuitously occurs on August 11th...with the shower's peak, which falls on the night of August 12, and the morning of the 13th." (Sunday night and Monday morning)

So, the "peak" is on the 12th, with the entire show active from July 17th to August 24th.  This year, with the Moon out of the picture, the peak shower will be 80 to 90 per hour from a dark site (that's us).  The days immediately leading up to the 12th should  be nearly as impressive, plus will not necessitate one having to make up excuses (or lies) for missing work.  Or worse, falling asleep at the switch, so to speak.

All that will be required for observing is a (preferably) reclining lounge chair, some snacks, liquid refreshment and bug spray. Use of binoculars and telescopes will likely interfere with the show.

One of the many things TSP taught me is that observing with friends is the way to go.  This will be your chance to oooohh and aaaahh with a herd of like-minded enthusiasts.

In the coming weeks, I will be asking for participants to bring some accessories (chips, 'tater salad, slaw, COOKIES, and other like-stuff)  to some (possibly) Chick-Fil-A Nuggets supplied by HAS.  I will also be seeking some volunteers to help as I have NEVER tried to do this before. I know I have NO intention of cooking anything in this heat...but other than that, I'll be seeking some guidance from the experienced pro's.  So, please, don't be shy.

This should be fun for all...and that's the point.

I'll be in touch

Jim King

August 22, 2018, 8:00PM: Westbury Community Garden Star Party

Join the Houston Astronomical Society at the Westbury Community Garden for a public star party.  This event is free to the public, and we’ll have great targets to observe, such as Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars!

Where: Westbury Community Garden (12581 Dunlap St, Houston, TX 77035)

When: August 22, from 8pm-10pm

August 24, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Sturgeon Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Sturgeon Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

August 25, 2018, 11:00AM: Garden Villas Family Fun Day

This event is free and open to the public!

Event: Garden Villas Family Fun Day

Where: Garden Villas Community Center (6720 S Haywood Dr., Houston, TX 77061)

When: Saturday, August 25, from 11:00AM - 1:00PM

Number of volunteers needed: 4+. This will be an introduction to an astronomical experience for both children and parents. Most have never used a telescope.

Email Outreach if you can volunteer with us!

August 25, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Sturgeon Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Sturgeon Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

September 02, 2018, 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 mosquito repellent and plenty of water, 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 midnight light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to stephenj@astronomyhouston.org (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

September 28, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Harvest Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Harvest Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

September 29, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Harvest Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Harvest Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

October 20, 2018, 2:00PM: Observatory Training

Club Members,

The Observatory Training Schedule for 2018 has been set.  Remaining training dates are: March 3rd, May 19th, Aug 11th, Oct 20th . 

Prerequisite requirements for students:
  • Must be at least 16 years of age or older.
  • Must be a Society member in good standing with all dues paid.
  • Have full knowledge of all general site rules and have completed the general site orientation.
  • Must have been a Society member for at least 6 months.
  • Will be required to execute an observatory building use agreement which is a contract of limited liability covering all rules, regulations, and requirements governing the use of observatory building facilities. Members under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian execute the agreement on behalf of a minor user that is 16 or 17 years of age.
To sign up for training

Email your request to take observatory training to Chris Ober, Observatory Director, at ChrisO@astronomyhouston.org. Your RSVP will be accepted on a first received basis as the training sessions are limited to six students per session.  More sessions can be added as needed. Once your prereqs have been verified, you will be added to the next class or placed on a waiting list. About a week before training, Chris will email you a copy of the Observatory Operator Guide. Print this guide and bring it with you to class.

Training Overview

Training covers opening and closing the observatory, operating the 12.5”  f/5 and C14 telescopes, and the procedures for securing the building in case of emergency. You must take this general training before you can register for training on the 12” Ritchey-Chrétien imaging telescope, aka “Bob’s Dream.”

Training starts at 2:00 PM and covers the topics below with a break for dinner. At sundown students will reconvene to demonstrate competence in these areas:

  • Understanding of the burden of responsibility for the facility
  • Documenting  "as found condition and as left condition" of the observatory
  • Proper use of Startup and Shut down of the telescopes
  • Use of emergency procedures

Note: Training sessions will be conducted even with cloudy skies; the backup dates will be used only in the event of or threat of rain, which would preclude opening the roof and training on emergency building procedures.

HAS Observatory Committee

October 26, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Hunter's Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Hunter’s Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

October 27, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Hunter's Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Hunter’s Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
 

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

November 23, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Beaver Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Beaver Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.
1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

November 24, 2018, 7:00PM: Astronomy in the Park in League City – Beaver Moon

Join us at the Rustic Oaks Park, 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, every month around full moon for a fun evening of amateur astronomy. Bring a telescope or come as you are. Rain or Shine1

What: Beaver Moon Star Party at League City Rustic Oaks Park
Where: 5101 Orange Blossom Ct. League City, TX
Time: 7 – 10 pm
Questions? Contact Dan Roy at danroy@stpp.com

Besides current celestial events, we typically show:
•    A  100’ model of the solar system (Sun to Mars – Jupiter and Saturn in the distance) around 7:30pm for kids of all ages
•    Nightfall telescope observation of the moon and visible planets
•    Laptop display of various space and astronomy clips
•    Magazines and flyers about the moon and its phases, the solar system, the major constellations and asterisms visible now, a list of relevant URLs, free software from the net, etc.

1 If no one has shown up by 8 pm, I go home.

December 01, 2018, 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 warm clothing, 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 pm light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to stephenj@astronomyhouston.org (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

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