October 2011

Bob Kepple and Glen Sanner: A GuideStar Interview

Original article appears in GuideStar October, 2011.

Clayton JeterAs I shopped in the vendor buildings at TSP-2011 (there are two buildings now), I was happily introduced to Bob Kepple and Glen Sanner. Have you heard of them before? Sure you have. Their fantastic three volume set of astronomy books titled The Night Sky Observer’s Guide is the rage in the astronomy community. If you haven’t picked up a set, then you’re in for a treat. These books are hot sellers. They contain a wealth of information about our night sky. They are just what the amateur needed. Move over Mr. Burnham! You’re going to enjoy this tag-team interview. These are two swell guys. I’m more than happy to introduce you to this dynamic duo….

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: NGC 6210—Turtle Nebula

Original article appears in GuideStar October, 2011.
NGC 6210

Object: NGC 6210
Class: Planetary Nebula
Constallation: Her
Magnitude: 8.8
R.A.: 16 h 44 m 30 s
Dec: 23 deg 48 min 02 sec
Size/Spectral: 20”
Distance: 4700 ly
Optics needed: 8” telescope (?) maybe smaller will do.

This summer I had the opportunity to see this object through the 107” telescope at the McDonald Observatory. It was very nice, of course, but this object isn’t that dim. It will be relatively easy to see in amateur telescopes.

It is well placed for early evening viewing by the 22nd of October when the moon is out of the early evening sky. On that date, sunset is at 18:48 (6:48 p.m.) DST (yes, we’re on Daylight Savings Time until November). You’ll want to catch it early in your observing session that night because it sets at 11:08 p.m.

Professor Comet Report

December 02, 2011: The Amazing Deaths of Stars

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
The Outer Gas Giants: Uranus & Neptune
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Justin McCollum
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
The Amazing Deaths of Stars
General Meeting Speaker: 
Professor Reginald J. Dufour
About the General Meeting Presentation

Stars like the sun and others more massive end their lives with more of a bang than a whimper and are responsible for a number of remarkable events and "leftovers" in the universe. I will discuss how stars form, evolve, and end their lives. More importantly, aside from the beautiful nebulae they leave behind, such processes enrich the interstellar medium with heavy elements that are the seeds of new stars and planetary systems. Indeed, each of us are made up of elements formed in early generations of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and are truly "children of the stars!"

Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held in the Science & Research building at the University of Houston Main Campus. The novice meeting is in room 116, the general meeting is in room 117.

NOTE NEW PARKING INFORMATION: Parking is available in lot 15C. Refer to the Google Map below for directions. This parking is available from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on the Friday night of the HAS meeting.

This parking is free. If you get a notice from the UH campus police on the night of the meeting, call the UH Security office and let them know that this area has been made available on HAS meeting night by the Parking Department.


Map to Parking

November 04, 2011: Lunar Swirls

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
Introduction to HAS Outreach Program
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Alan Rossiter
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Lunar Swirls
General Meeting Speaker: 
Georgiana Kramer, Ph.D.
About the General Meeting Presentation

Lunar swirls are unusual, curvilinear surface features the origin of which has been debated for many years, but a consensus that explains their formation remains elusive. From the collection of measurements over the past 40 years, we know that every swirl is: 1) spectrally immature, and 2) associated with a local magnetic anomaly (although not every lunar magnetic anomaly has a recognized swirl). New measurements from four recent international lunar missions and the active collaboration of experts in the scientific fields from which these instruments derive have begun to shed new light on the elusive lunar swirls. The wide range of scientific fields and instrument observations demonstrates that the study of lunar swirls is more than just a study of a lunar phenomenon. The swirls provide a laboratory to study the solar wind, space weathering, and complex electromagnetic interactions in the solar system.

Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held in the Science & Research building at the University of Houston Main Campus. The novice meeting is in room 116, the general meeting is in room 117.

NOTE NEW PARKING INFORMATION: Parking is available in lot 15C. Refer to the Google Map below for directions. This parking is available from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on the Friday night of the HAS meeting.

This parking is free. If you get a notice from the UH campus police on the night of the meeting, call the UH Security office and let them know that this area has been made available on HAS meeting night by the Parking Department.


Map to Parking

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