President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar July, 2014.

Meeting Date is July 11

To avoid conflicting with members’ plans for Independence Day, the members voted, based on a recommendation of the board, to move the July meeting to July 11. I look forward to seeing you all at the meeting.

HAS Organization Status

Thanks to some legal work, done by HAS member Scott Mitchell, the status of the Houston Astronomical Society as a non-profit educational organization has been confirmed by the State of Texas. This work was in addition to the work done with the Colorado County taxing authority to assure that the organization was not liable for property tax for our observing site. The board of directors greatly appreciates Scott’s contribution of time and expertise on this issue.

The Houston Astronomical Society Election

It’s only July, but it’s probably not too early to be thinking about the 2015 year of the HAS. The nominating committee is obliged by the by-laws to present candidates for the various elected offices of the HAS at the October meeting. This means that it won’t be long before the nominating committee will start calling HAS members to assess their interest in holding one of these elected offices.

You can get a jump on the nominating committee by contacting our VP (Rene Gedaly) and expressing your interest in one of the elected offices. There are 4 officers, 5 board members, and 9 committee leaders to be nominated. Read the by-laws to get the list of elected positions. There’s a link to the by-laws at the bottom of the home page of the HAS web site.

Astronomical League Programs

The Houston Astronomical Society is a member society in the Astronomical League. This means that part of your dues goes to the league and also means that you can participate in the AL Observing Programs. As Rene Gedaly mentioned in last month’s issue, one of the programs is mine — Observing Stellar Evolution. Steve Goldberg pointed out to me that the program only has 100 objects in it while the SkyTools list has 103 objects. Here’s why:

  • Rosette Nebula & NGC2244 The program identifies the Rosette Nebula as one object, but says that seeing the Rosette or the embedded cluster (NGC2244) would count. The STX list has both these objects on it
  • Double Cluster I list this as one object in my list, but the STX lists it as two (the two clusters)
  • Veil Nebula This is one object in my list but STX has an entry for the Veil West and the Veil East

Another problem with any list of astronomical objects is that many objects are in multiple catalogs. The good news is that SkyTools has so many catalogs in it that it acts as a translator between catalogs. Some of the objects in the Stellar Evolution list on the AL web site have different catalog names than the same objects in the SkyTools list.

Parking for the HAS Meeting

Parking for the HAS meeting is in a new place due to the construction of the new football stadium. This new parking place will be the permanent location for parking going forward. See the information in this GuideStar or on the HAS web site.

Cheers,

Bill Pellerin, President

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