Welcome to Houston Astronomical Society

Founded in 1955, Houston Astronomical Society is an active community of enthusiastic amateur and professional astronomers with over 60 years of history in the Houston area. Through education and outreach, our programs promote science literacy and astronomy awareness. We meet on the first Friday of each month at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center. Membership has a variety of benefits, including access to a secure dark site west of Houston, a telescope loaner program, and much more. Joining is simple; you can sign up online, by mail or in person at a monthly meeting.

September 17, 2019, 7:00PM: HAS BOD Meeting

This will be an online Zoom meeting. HAS Officers Directors and Committe chairs have been provided an agenda and url for the meeting.

Any regular members may attend. If you are interested in attending, please contact Don Selle at [email protected] for a copy of the agenda and instructions on how to join online.

Asterisms – Mini Coat Hanger

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 9/13/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
Constellation: Ursa Minor
Right Ascension:  16h 29m 37.9s
Declination: +80° 16' 19"
Magnitude: 9 to 11
Size:  20’ 
This month’s asterism is the “Mini Coat Hanger”. The more famous “Coat Hanger” is in Vulpecula, a nice binocular or low power asterism. The “Mini Coat Hanger” is just that, a mini version.





The asterism located just off a line from Zeta ζ Ursa Minor, a corner star in the bowl, and Epsilon ε Ursa Minor, the first bright star in the handle.








In this medium power eyepiece you can definitely see how the “mini” coat hanger resembles the “major” coat hanger.


Doing a Google search for “Mini Coat Hanger”, the first in the list points to our own Guidestar article from May, 2017, written by the Guidestar Editor, Bill Pellerin. The link is: https://www.astronomyhouston.org/newsletters/guidestar/shallow-sky-object-month-mini-coathanger


Outreach - Westbury Community Garden

In the Pink.JPG

The Houston Astronomical Society held another outreach event at the Westbury Community Garden in southwest Houston on September 10, 2019. This is the second event held at the location. The skies were iffy around sunset with clouds and lightning far to the north. Luckily, the objects for the night: Moon, Jupiter and Saturn were in the southeast, opposite from the storms. Because of the possibility of rain, the attendance was not as expected. Still, we had about 75 people show up. Most telescopes were aimed at those three main objects. However, one 8” telescope went for other objects like the Ring - M57, Hercules cluster - M13, and double star - Albireo. Through Amelia’s “pink” telescope, we had 82 different views.

We had eight telescopes with 11 volunteers. We would like to thank those that brought their telescopes to the event: Dan and Rebe Roy, Jim King, Leah Hall, Debbie Moran, Ed Fraini with wife Anita and daughter Karla, and Lauren Herrington.

Steve & Amelia

September 21, 2019, 6:45PM: 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 insect repellent, but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

7:30-8:30 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.

8:30-9:00 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together

October 05, 2019, 8:00PM: Discovery Green Star Party/International Observe the Moon Night

Whimsical illustration of people looking at the Moon.

Join Discovery Green and the the Houston Astronomical Society (H.A.S.) for a star party in the heart of Space City. Take a deeper look at space with complimentary telescopes and learn more about space and astronomy.

Where: Discovery Green

October 08, 2019, 7:00PM: Loaner Scope Training

Training on the use of HAS Loaner Telescopes will is scheduled for October 8, 2019 at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center (where the HAS December 1414 Wirt Rd.

Training will start at 7:00 and run to 8:30 PM in a classroom assigned by the TMCC Staff. As you walk in to the Center, look at the room listing board to see which room this will be held in.

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