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. The club meets on the first Friday of each month at the University of Houston. Membership has a variety of benefits, including access to a secure dark site west of Houston, a telescope loaner program, and much more. Joining our club is simple; you can sign up online, by mail or in person at a monthly meeting.

HAS Texas 45 Honor Roll

Congratulations to the following members who have completed the HAS Texas 45 observing program. A special congratulations to newest awardee, Craig Lamison, who earned the silver level award for logging 10 objects each season plus 5 solar system objects, all via star hopping.

  • Craig Lamison, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #6
  • Steve Fast, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #1
  • Rob Torrey, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #2
  • Rene Gedaly, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #3
  • Chris Thiede, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #4
  • Amelia Goldberg, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #5

For more information about the HAS Texas 45 observing program, check out the Programs section of this website.

Elected leaders for 2015

Congratulations to these members elected to leadership positions for 2015 at the December 5, 2014 Annual Membership meeting:

Office Officer / Director Committee Chairperson
President Rene Gedaly Telescope Allen Wilkerson
Vice President John Haynes Field Trip & Observing Stephen Jones
Secretary Bill Flanagan Program Justin McCollum
Treasurer Don Selle Publicity Bram Weisman
Director Ash Alashqar Novice Debbie Moran
Director Mark Holdsworth Audit Scott Mitchell
Director Jessica Kingsley Observatory Mike Edstrom
Director Debbie Moran Education & Outreach Bram Weisman
Director Bram Weisman Membership Steve Fast

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: Caph—Beta Cas—A Star in Transition

Original article appears in GuideStar December, 2014.

Beta Cas

by Bill Pellerin, GuideStar editor

Object: Caph-Beta Cas
Class: Delta Scuti variable star
Magnitude: 2.25
R.A.: 00 h, 9 m, 11 s
Dec: 59 degrees, 08 minutes, 59 seconds
Distance: 55 ly
Constellation: Cassopeia
Spectral: F2
Optics needed: Unaided Eye

Why this object is interesting:
Beta Cas is an old star and like many old stars it is starting to show its age by becoming variable. In the categories of variable stars this one is called a Delta Scuti variable star and it has some common characteristics with Cepheid variable stars. Cepheids are famous because their intrinsic luminosity (power output) is related to their period of variability. Thus, they and the Delta Scuti variable stars allow astronomers to measure the distance to stars and star systems.

If you know the intrinsic brightness of a star it’s easy to determine the distance using the inverse square law. That is, the brightness we see is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

Click read more for entire article...

Access Members-Only Site Features

If you're a current member, you'll want to log in and check out the member features. As a member, you can view the observatory weather-cam, post photo galleries, edit your club profile, send private messages to other members, post in the trading forum, and more. If you have a valid email address on file with the club, you already have an account ready to go. Here's how to access it:

  • Go to the Password Reset page
  • Type in your email address and click "E-mail new password"
  • Check your email and follow the instructions in the password reset message

If you have any problems, drop a note to webmaster@astronomyhouston.org and we'll get you sorted out.

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