Field of View - April 2020

Original article appears in GuideStar April, 2020.

MK Sunset.jpg

Sunset from the top of Mauna Kea taken by the author on 8/13/2013. The Subaru Telescope, W. M. Keck Observatories (1 &2) and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility are in the foreground from left to right.

 “I have never gotten anything I didn’t ask for first.” I put this wise old saying into practice last month when this column first debuted and I asked you, the members of HAS to consider contributing astronomy related articles with your own unique point of view for publication in the Guidestar. In this issue, you will see two excellent member contributions, which is a great beginning!

Long-time HAS member Joe Dellinger has contributed a delightful article “ Harry Potter and the Orbit of Venus”, and new HAS member Chris Morrisette has provided and excellent first hand account of getting started in astrophotography! Please be sure to read them and if you, like me, think they are wonderful, like them on our website.  I truly believe that this publication needs to be about our members sharing their experience and interests with other HAS members if it is to be successful. If you have an idea for an article, please consider writing it up and contributing it for publication!

 As this issue of the Guidestar is published, people in Houston and Harris County are in the middle of a shelter in place order. Many have been effected in adverse ways, especially disruption of their daily lives. Social media in a very positive way has encouraged those with too much home time on their agenda to use it productively for self-improvement including taking advantage of the time to learn something new.

For me, amateur astronomy has been a road I regularly travel for continuous learning. If you have not already followed this road or would like a new learning adventure, the Guidestar can help. In this issue, we introduce a new column – “Armchair Astronomy”  that will point you towards an opportunity to learn more astronomy. Think of it as an entry in your travel guide to astronomy learning. In this issue, you will be introduced you to Astro-bites, ( https://astrobites.org/ ) a unique resource for astronomy learning. I will provide you a link to a specific astrobite I which I thought you might like and will continue to highlight specific astrobites in future editions of the Guidestar.

Lastly, I wanted to let you know that starting in this issue, the Guidestar will feature a regular astrophotography column. I would like to feature articles from our members who do astrophotography and will also contribute articles myself. Chris Morrisette let me off the hook this month with his contribution, maybe you can too!

Astrophotography can be very technical, and we have many members who are at different levels of experience. It might be best to pitch your articles at beginning to intermediate astrophotographers. If you have an idea for such an article, please let me know. 

As always if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for content you would like to see, feel free to contact me at  [email protected] I would love to receive them.

Don Selle – Guidestar Editor

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