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.

December 06, 2019, 6:30PM: HAS Holiday Pot-Luck and Meeting

It’s the fourth annual Holiday Pot-luck and Meeting! You won’t want to miss it. 

♦ Pot-luck DinnRob Pettingill.pnger
♦ Astronomy Trivia
♦ Astrophoto Peoples Choice contest
♦ Speaker    Rob Pettingill

 Bulletins from Chile: the 2019 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program

♦ Door prizes
 Meeting Location Trini Mendenhall Community Center 1414 Wirt Rd, Houson, TX 77055

                            

Visitors to the Dark Site

leecain2.pngOn Sunday, December 1, 2019, Lee Cain with wife Gabby and daughter Krista, came out to the Dark Site to see the improvements since he was president. They were very surprised at all the private observatories that have been built. Here is a photo of the group with Lee holding that original picture that was taken at the signing of the twinning charter in 1987. -Steve Goldberg

This is from the history document of the society:

Lee Cain became president of our Society in 1987. Member Larry Wadle, who had spent three years in Guildford, England, suggested in 1986 a twinning of HAS with the Guildford Astronomical Society. Since both societies were founded in 1955, and share common profiles and interests, the twinning was approved. The Guildford Society drew up the twinning charter and it was brought to Houston by Brian States. Lee Cain and Brian States signed the charter at our general membership meeting on June 5, 1987. The charter now hangs in the HAS Observatory building.

Time to Renew Your Membership for 2020

Time2Renew.PNG

Time to RENEW YOUR HAS MEMBERSHIP so you can take your 2020 Dark Site Training January 1st and get the new gate code before it changes on March 7th! HAS memberships run from 1 January to December 31. Fortunately, renewing your membership is fast and easy!

As a renewing member you will continue to be part of one of the most active and fun astronomy clubs in Texas and continue to have access to our member benefits including:

  • Supporting our active outreach programs which show the night sky to school children and the public, and encourages interest in STEM activities
  • Access to our controlled access dark sky observing site in Columbus
  • Active Novice Astronomer programs including Nite Sky Labs at our dark sky site which teach you how to use your telescope and navigate the night sky
  • Access to our growing library of online videos of presentations of interest to both Novice and Seasoned Astronomers alike

Membership dues are a bargain. Dues amounts:

  • Regular - $36/year
  • Associate - $6 (lives at same address as regular member)
  • Student - $12 (full-time student)
  • Sustaining - $50 or more (if you want to give a little extra to keep the club strong)

As always there are three ways to renew:

  1. Renew online with PayPal - Login to your account at https://www.astronomyhouston.org/members/renew
    We greatly appreciate if you pay by PayPal because it automates the process.  With 500 members, it saves us a lot of work.
  2. Renew at a monthly meeting and pay by check or cash.
  3. Mail a check the old-fashioned way to Treasurer, Houston Astronomical Society, PO Box 6657, Katy, TX 77491.

We hope that you will continue to support HAS and look forward to seeing you at our next meeting or event at the Columbus dark sky site!

Asterisms - Engagement Ring

(Posted 11/14/2019)

By: Steve Goldberg

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.

Constellation: Ursa Minor
Right Ascension:  02h 49m 00.0s
Declination: +88o 54’ 00”
Magnitude: 2 to 9
Size:  40’
 

This month’s asterism is called the “Engagement Ring”. If you noticed the Declination, +88o, you should have thought that it is pretty far north. Well, Polaris is the “diamond” on the ring.

This is a binocular object instead of a telescope object. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can see the stars that make up the ring. They are “above” Polaris in this picture.

If you use a telescope, can you see the companion to Polaris? It is a double star system. When aligning my optics on my telescope, I look for the companion to verify I am on Polaris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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