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Welcome to Houston Astronomical Society

Fostering the science and art of astronomy through programs that serve our membership and the community. 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 via Zoom the first Friday of each month for the General Membership Meeting and the first Thursday of the month for the Novice Meeting. 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 or by snail mail.

4/6/23 at 7pm on Zoom: Tour of the Spring Night Sky & The Sky Down Under

NOVICE PRESENTATION. Novice Chairperson Chris Morisette will lead us on a tour of the spring night sky. He will give us tips on preparing to observe the spring night sky and point out several objects available for observation that should not be missed. In addition, Chris will share some highlights of his recent trip to New Zealand, and highlights of the night sky there.

4/7/23 at 7pm on Zoom. "Comets: Tracers of our Past" with Anita Cochran, PhD, McDonald Observatory

MONTHLY MEETING. Comets are the least altered bodies left over from the formation of our Solar System. Consequently, the study of comets reveals much about the constraints under which the planets were formed. In this talk, Dr. Anita Cochran, Assistant Director of McDonald Observatory, will explain the formation scenario for planets, where comets fit into that scenario, where comets currently reside, and how an occasional comet makes its way into the inner Solar System. Dr. Cochran will also discuss some peculiar cases and give a coming attraction of an upcoming comet!

Food for thought

Food For thought is presented by Jim King and produced by the fertile and talented mind of Juliane McAdam, IDA Contributor. A   P o e m  :  H o n o r   t h e   N I g h t

Armchair Astronomy

with Jim King: HUH??? BOOKS???? “I want to see stars; I don’t have time for books!” Horse pucky!  A common, albeit erroneous, belief: “After all, I have this new gadget and I want to see stars and stuff.”  Ignoring the scholarly and abundant library of astronomy-related publications, is one of the quickest ways to kill your new-found interest in the cosmos and what makes it tick...

"HAS Astronomers Doing Science" 7:00pm CST Friday, March 3rd on Zoom

One of the very cool things about being an amateur astronomer is that even with amateur sized telescopes, our eyes, or our amateur cameras, we can do real science that is of benefit to the Pros! Several HAS members have been contributing to the body of astronomical observations and knowledge over the course of many years. Others are just getting started, and so can you! Walt Cooney will moderate a panel discussion where several HAS members will tell you a bit about the science they are doing. Panelists and their topics are...

"How to Set Up Your Telescope" 7:00pm CST Thursday, March 2, 2023 on Zoom

Every telescope must be set up and adjusted properly before it can be used productively. Join Joe Khalaf and Tim Pellerin over Zoom as they walk you through the process of setting up your telescope and getting it ready to serve you dutifully for an excellent night of observing. They will show you their approach to getting set up, answer your questions an even share with you the secrets you need to know to avoid those dreaded Operator Errors...
Perhaps one reason I was picked as historian, is that I tend to dwell a lot on the past. I still think of my early years as an amateur astronomer as the “good old days”. The chief difference between, say 1960 and now, is that I could observe a number of Messier objects from my yard, and yet I lived only a quarter mile from the University of St. Thomas. For observing or photographing the Milky Way, I would spend the night at my parents’ home, only a couple of miles west of Memorial Park. Nowadays, to go anywhere where one can observe deep sky objects, requires that two or three hours be spent travelling to and from the observing site...