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.

A Giant Leap - HAS Celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing with Discovery Green

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“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”  The 50th anniversary of the epic Apollo 11 mission to the moon will be celebrated at Discovery Green in a free public event on Saturday, July 20, 2019  in partnership with the Houston Astronomical Society. 

To volunteer, email ou[email protected].

Event: A Giant Leap - Houston Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
Where: Discovery Green Park (1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010)
When: Saturday, July 20, from 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
No. of volunteers needed: 10+ telescopes needed.

This is the biggest event we may have ever participated in. Discovery Green is anticipating 15,000 visitors for the event. Though the event starts earlier, we'll set up after 7:20pm or so (once the paratroopers from the US Army Golden Knights land.

Congrats Director Ed Fraini

Ed Fraini was elected by unanimous voice vote at the July 12 membership meeting to serve out the board of directors position vacated by Sherry Irby who now resides in Corpus Christi. Ed served as Vice President in 2016. Congrats and welcome back, Ed.

Protect the Night 2019 Matching Gifts Challenge

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IDA supporters are people who understand the sense of awe and the connection to something bigger found in pristine, starry skies. Sadly, because of light pollution, only a handful of the 5,000 stars visible in the unaltered night sky can be seen in most populated places. 

Our society cannot afford to lose this special resource. That’s why IDA is asking its supporters to make a contribution to the Protect the Night 2019 Matching Gifts Challenge. Funds raised during this six-week campaign will help IDA protect naturally dark places and inspire people to protect the night where they live. 

Some of the best places to view the awe-inspiring sight of a canopy of starry skies are at one of IDA’s 122 International Dark Sky Places. By seeking recognition from IDA, places like Grand Canyon National ParkBig Cypress National Preserve, and communities like Ketchum, Idaho, acknowledge the importance of protecting the night. All of IDA’s Dark Sky Places apply smart lighting solutions to reduce or eliminate light pollution and work to bring awareness to dark skies with activities like nighttime nature walks, lighting demonstrations, and star parties. IDA’s Dark Sky Places become amplifiers of our work and values and offer millions of people each year the opportunity to experience a natural, starry sky. When you visit an International Dark Sky Place you don’t just see a dark, starry sky. You gain a deeper connection to the world we live in. 

IDA needs your support to protect more dark places. Please make a gift to the Protect the Night Matching Gifts Challenge. A handful of committed donors will match every gift, dollar for dollar, through August 5, 2019. Will you join the challenge and double your impact today?

HAS Email List Moves to Gaggle Mail

HAS Members had been noticing problems with the AstroList email list service. Not Neslyder, but hosted by a different company... not officialy named Astrolist. It’s complicated. 

However with the retirement of Mark Holdsworth, whose company Netslyder, Inc. supported the Netslyder email list service for our sister astronomy clubs, your HAS Board of Directors agreed with Mark Ferraz that it was a good time to move to a service under consideration for over a year. For enquiring minds, it’s called Gaggle Mail.

Says Mark:[...]

Thank you Mark Holdsworth, aka Mr Netslyder

Mark Holdsworth, aka Mr Netslyder, has taken down his shingle. Incidentally, in addition to providing the information pipeline for a generation of astronomy enthusiasts in Houston, Mark is also a former officer of the Society having served as Secretary. Says Mark:[...]

Asterisms – Backwards 5

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 6/16/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
 
Constellation: Hercules
Right Ascension:  16h 36m 00.0s
Declination: +30o 45’ 00”
Magnitude: 7 to 10.6
Size:  24’
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This month’s asterism is named the Backwards 5. It is located in Hercules. This is a faint asterism, but it can be seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is easily located near Zeta ζ Hercules. The large circle is a typical finder, with the smaller circle the FOV (Field of View) in a 10” telescope with a 32mm eyepiece.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

In the center of this view you can see the “Backwards 5”. However, with certain telescopes, like a Schmidt-Cassegrain with a right angle prism, the 5 appears correct.

 

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