February 2015

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Founder's Day Event

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, HAS relies on the support of members and friends in order to continue our ever-evolving mission of bringing astronomy and the universe to a growing audience both here in Houston and around the world.

December 04, 2015: December HAS Meeting

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
All About Eyepieces
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Allen Wilkerson, Telescope Chair
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Rosetta & Philae - A Spacecraft's Journey to a Comet
General Meeting Speaker: 
Justin McCollum, Physics Laboratory Coordinator, Lamar University
About the General Meeting Presentation

Justin McCollum

The Rosetta Spacecraft is a predominantly ESA Mission developed by a league of European countries with the purpose of achieving the first ever robotic craft to orbit the nucleus of a comet.

Rosetta has an amazing suite of Scientific instruments and packages to investigate the structure, composition, and morphology of a comet in all of its intertwined components - the tails, the coma, and the nucleus along with its interactions with interplanetary dust and the interplanetary medium. Rosetta also has a second robotic vehicle; the Philae lander which piggybacks on the orbiter with the purpose of surface investigations of three nuclei.

An extension of the mission would allow the Rosetta Orbiter to remain in orbit well into 2016. The United States through NASA has a minimal participation in this project via the contribution of three scientific instruments for research into 67P.

At the Novice Presentation

Ever wonder why it is a meaningless question to ask what “power” a telescope is? What in the world is “eye relief” or “exit pupil?” Come learn all about eyepieces in December with a talk for novices and experienced observers too by Loaner Telescope Chair Allen Wilkerson. Learn how eyepieces function, how to choose the right eyepiece for the object you are looking at, how to choose eyepieces that will work best with your telescope and why you may someday want to splurge.

We will also vote to change the January 2016 meeting date from January 1st to January 8th.

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 06, 2015: Annual Membership Meeting of HAS

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
How We Know What We Know
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Deborah Moran
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Some Reminiscences After a Career in Astronomy
General Meeting Speaker: 
Dr. Frank Bash, UT Professor Emeritus of Astronomy
About the General Meeting Presentation

Finder chart

As Director of McDonald Observatory, Bash led the effort for design, funding, and construction of the magnificent 11-meterHobby·Eberly TelescopeMcDonald Observatory in West Texas, which has the largest primary mirror in the world. Bash also led the effort to expand the public-outreach programs of McDonald Observatory. These programs include the Observatory's Visitors' Center, now named in his honor, which hosts over 130,000 visitors per year.

At the Novice Meeting
Debbie Moran, Novice Chair, will give a fun talk called How We Know What We Know. How do we know how far away stars and galaxies are, what stars and planets are made of, why we think the universe began with a bang, and how do we know black holes exist if we can’t see them?

Annual Meeting and 2016 Elections
We'll also vote in the 2016 leadership followed by a drawing for a ticket to the Nov 8 matinee of Silent Sky.

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

September 04, 2015: September HAS Meeting

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
September Sky and the Lunar Eclipse
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Debbie Moran
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Markarian Objects
General Meeting Speaker: 
Larry Mitchell
About the General Meeting Presentation

Larry Mitchell

We are fortunate to have many accomplished members in HAS and one of them is certainly our own Larry Mitchell. Larry will be reprising a talk he gave at the 2015 Texas Star Party on Markarian Galaxies. If you missed it, or you'd like one more run through, here's your chance.

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

August 07, 2015: August HAS Meeting

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
Collimating the Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Clayton Jeter, ADVANTAGE Telescope Repair
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Space Medicine: From Houston to Kazakhstan
General Meeting Speaker: 
Dr. Cedrick Senter, ret. NASA flight surgeon
About the General Meeting Presentation

Doctor Senter

Dr. Cedric Senter will speak to HAS about his experiences as a flight surgeon with NASA. In particluar, Dr Senter will review

  • Preflight, inflight and post flight medical activities
  • Long-duration space flight medical issues and their countermeasures
  • Long-duration space flight environmental issues and their countermeasures
  • Postflight medical issues

Dr. Senter graduated from UNM School of Medicine 1984 and began an internship that same year at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Az. He entered US Naval Flight Surgeon Training in July 1985 and received his Naval Flight Surgeon Wings in Feb 1986. In 1998 he joined Wyle Laboratories, Houston as a Medical Operations Physician supporting Astronaut Training in Star City, Russia while also training for ISS Surgeon Console position in the MCC-Houston. In 2003, he was chosen as the first contractor flight surgeon to act as a Deputy Crew Surgeon for ISS Expedition 4 after completing the certification to become an ISS flight controller in the Mission Control Center–Houston.

At the Novice Session

In August, we welcome Clayton Jeter who will reveal the mysteries behind collimating or aligning the optics of the very popular Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. If you own a Schmidt-Cass or are considering buying one for its compact shape and excellent optics, don’t miss this talk. 

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

July 10, 2015: July HAS Meeting

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
Solstices, Equinoxes and Seasons
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Bill Flanagan
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Straddling the Line: Confessions of an Astronomer-Writer
General Meeting Speaker: 
Dr. Renee James
About the General Meeting Presentation

How does science news get from scientists to you? And why does it matter whether trained scientists are the ones writing the news? Author of two books and numerous articles for Astronomy and Sky and Telescope, Dr. James explains the ugly truth about science journalism. Along the way she reveals the reasons behind her journey from astronomer to popular science writer, and how you, too, can help stem the tide of ignorance about the science you love.

 Dr. James has been distracted by shiny objects in the Universe for as long as she can remember. Trained as a stellar spectroscopist at the astronomy department of the University of Texas at Austin, she later abandoned determining the chemical abundances of metal-poor stars in favor of exploring astronomy and the history of science with the enthusiasm of a kid playing in the mud after a good rain. She has written extensively for both Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines, and was awarded the Popular Science Writing Award by a division of the American Astronomical Society. Meanwhile, she's been teaching introductory astronomy for non-science majors at Sam Houston State University since 1999.

At the Novice Session

Come enjoy a talk by Bill Flanagan on Solstices, Equinoxes and Seasons. We are just past the summer solstice (June 21). This date represents the northernmost excursion of the Sun in the sky. It’s the longest day, but is it the earliest sunrise or the latest sunset? It is amazing how that 23.4 degree tilt affects everything on Earth and in the heavens.

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

May 01, 2015: Comet Hunters Gene & Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
Sky Navigation
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Debbie Moran
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Interview with Comet Hunters Gene & Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy
General Meeting Speaker: 
William Spizzirri
About the General Meeting Presentation

William Spizzirri

Says Mr. Spizziri about Comet Hunters Gene & Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy

"Several years ago I was fortunate to spend some time with those astronomers on Palomar mountain. They discussed their telescope, how they did their work there and their discoveries. I will share photos, and videos of my interviews with them and what I learned about the telescopes on Mt. Palomar. Prepare for a bit of time travel."

Bill Spizzirri has been an amateur astronomer for 50 years and has also been a member of an astronomy club near Chicago for 36 years and counting. He served there as President for two years and has held other offices. Bill is now a retired software analyst and grandpa of three. His main astronomy activity now is teaching children about our universe.

 

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

April 03, 2015: Restoration of the George Observatory 36" Gueymard Research Telescope

Novice Meeting: 7:00PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
GoTo Telescopes
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Allen Wilkerson, Telescope Committe Chairperson
General Meeting: 8:00PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Restoration of the 36" Gueymard research telescope at the George Observatory
General Meeting Speaker: 
Peggy Halford, George Observatory Director
About the General Meeting Presentation
Peggy Halford will be speaking to us about the  restoration of the 36" Gueymard research telescope at the George Observatory.

George Observatory Domes

Peggy began volunteering at the George Observatory in 1992 after finishing graduate summer studies at Rice University in astronomy. The 36" telescope was her first telescope to use while completing a summer study of gaseous H2 regions with Dr. Reggie Dufour and Dr. Pat Reiff. While still teaching in Fort Bend ISD, Peggy began volunteering at the George helping Barbara Wilson teach summer camps. In 1994, she was hired by the Houston Museum of Natural Science at the Observatory. Peggy also studied astronomy at Harvard University and taught astronomy to science teachers from across the country for 6 summers. Peggy is currently the Director of the Observatory.
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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