Upcoming Events

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July 31, 2021, 7:30PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. The format has been changed a little bit for social distancing guidelines.  We won’t be able to have everyone share my scope, but if you have a scope of your own I can help you get started, or if not you can just enjoy the dark sky with your binoculars or naked eye and just begin learning your way around the constellations.  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:

8:15-9:15 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
9:15-9:30 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
9:30-11:30 - time to observe! I will be available to assist anyone to practice locating objects with their scope or binoculars. 
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

August 05, 2021, 7:00PM: Novice Presentation- Via Zoom

"The Giants: Observing Jupiter and Saturn
at Opposition." 

by Debbie Moran

Debbie Moran head shot (2).JPG

Many amateur and even professional astronomers will tell you that they became “hooked” on astronomy after the first time they observed either Saturn or Jupiter through a telescope. As awesome as theses first observations can be, both of these huge planets are captivating when observed over and over again.

 August is a big month for the gas giant planets. Both are at opposition during the month, Saturn will be at opposition on August 2nd, and Jupiter on August 19th, when observing them is typically as good as it gets.

Novice Chairperson Debbie Moran will take us on a tour of both planets and tell us what to expect, and how to get the most out of your observation of these true gems of the night sky.


Speaker Bio: Deborah Moran has had a lifelong interest in astronomy since her childhood in Midland, TX where all the scenery is in the sky. She has been a long time member of the Houston Astronomical Society and has served in a number of capacities there, currently as Novice Chair in charge of programs for new members. She also participates in outreach programs and is a volunteer telescope operator at the George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park. She is the 2017 recipient of the International Dark-Sky association’s Hoag-Robinson Award for education of government officials about outdoor lighting issues. In 2010, her Woodside neighborhood became the first one within Houston city limits allowed to install low glare fully shielded decorative streetlights. For the past four years she has presented concerns about the choice of high glare white LED street lights in Houston to city officials and hopes that the Houston area will someday join other communities in moving to warm or soft white to amber LEDs which are recommended by the American Medical Association for their reduced glare and reduced disruption of day/night circadian function. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Since we're all practicing safe social distancing, we have decided to bring our  speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpdeisqj4uGtIjYfNNyceHRsj2fPzcmzet

Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then.  We hope to see you online with us on Thursday evening August 5th!

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

August 06, 2021, 7:00PM: August Membership Meeting - Via Zoom

 

Alien Oceans on Earth and Beyond

Dr. Kevin Peter Hand

Planetary Scientist/Astrobiologist

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech

Where is the best place to find living life beyond Earth? It may be that the small, ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn harbor some of the most habitable real estate in our Solar System. Life loves liquid water and these moons have lots of it. These alien oceans of the outer solar system have likely persisted for much of the history of the solar system and as a result they are highly compelling targets in our search for life beyond Earth.

Dr. Hand will explain the science behind why we think we know these oceans exist and what we know about the conditions on these worlds. He will focus on Jupiter’s moon Europa, which is a top priority for future missions. Dr. Hand will also detail how the exploration of Earth’s ocean is helping to guide our understanding of the potential habitability of worlds like Europa.

Alien Oceans.jpg

Our Speaker – Dr. Kevin P. Hand is a planetary scientist and astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he directs the Ocean Worlds Lab. His research focuses on the search for life in the solar system, with an emphasis on Jupiter’s moon Europa. He is helping lead NASA’s Europa Lander mission concept, and from 2011-2016 he served as Deputy Chief Scientist for Solar System Exploration at JPL. His fieldwork has brought him from the Arctic to Antarctica, and to the depths of Earth’s ocean. His book ‘Alien Oceans’, was recently published by Princeton University Press.

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Since we're still practicing safe social distancing, we will bring our August Speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtdO-vqjMsEteZKdGXUTNDb0JPoyIWVfuj

Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then.  We hope to see you online with us on Friday evening August 6th !

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

August 07, 2021, 1:00PM: Training on the Observatory Telescopes

Yes, the observatory is back in business and we will be training new telescope operators! On Aug 7 at 1:00 pm we will conduct training on the care of the observatory building and the skills needed for manually operating the equatorial fork mounted, f/5 12.5” Newtonian telescope and the GoTo mounted, f/10 Celestron C14 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. After a dinner break, we will reconvene to test your knowledge under the starry skies of our Dark Site Observatory. We will not cancel unless a total cloud-out is forecast.

Details about signing up will be announced around July 31st, so check the email list often. Also, there are other requirements for taking training, which you can read about here. And here:

The HAS Observatory is available to members who have completed an additional training course on usage of the building.  To be eligible to attend an Observatory Training Course, members must be at least 16 years of age, be up-to-date with the Dark Site orientation and be a member in good standing for a minimum of six months.  Those interested in attending this training who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also a member.  Underage members whose parents are not members may attend the training, but will not be eligible to use the observatory unless supervised by a trained adult user.

Prior to observatory training, users are required to have knowledge of basic telescope functionality and procedures and to have a working understanding of equatorial-mounted astronomical telescopes. For a complete review of these topics, members can log into the website and view Allen Wilkerson’s entertaining talk on Go-To Telescopes. It is also recommended, though not required, that users be familiar with using TheSkyX software.

The class typically begins in the afternoon and runs well into the evening so that trainees can demonstrate their understanding under nighttime conditions.

Training to use the 12” RCOS telescope for imaging requires a separate training orientation which is open to those who have successfully completed the Observatory training.

All training sessions are at the discretion of the Observatory Director. Contact Observatory Director Chris Ober for more information.

Rene Gedaly
Observatory Trainer
C-14 and 12.5” Newtonian

August 11, 2021, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

August 28, 2021, 7:00PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. The format has been changed a little bit for social distancing guidelines.  We won’t be able to have everyone share my scope, but if you have a scope of your own I can help you get started, or if not you can just enjoy the dark sky with your binoculars or naked eye and just begin learning your way around the constellations.  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:

7:45-8:45 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
8:45-9:15 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
9:15-11:30 - time to observe! I will be available to assist anyone to practice locating objects with their scope or binoculars. 
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

September 02, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - September Novice Presentation

Save the date! New to astronomy? This one’s for you. The HAS Novice Presentation is the first Thursday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

September 03, 2021, 12:00PM: UBarU Star Party, Sep 3-6, 2021

As a service to our members, we are posting information about the major star parties held in the south central US.
Email [email protected] to post information about other star parties.

2021 Star Parties in the South Central US
Star Party Dates Nearest Town For more info: 
Texas Star Party May 2-9, 2021 Fort Davis, TX https://texasstarparty.org
UBarU Sep 3-6, 2021 Mountain Home, TX
Okie-Tex Oct 1-9, 2021 Kenton, OK http://www.okie-tex.com/
Eldorado Star Party November 1–6, 2021 Eldorado, TX https://eldoradostarparty.org/

 

September 03, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - September Membership Meeting

Save the date! The HAS Membership Meeting is the first Friday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

September 08, 2021, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

October 01, 2021, 12:00PM: 2021 Okie-Tex Star Party, Oct 1-9, 2021

As a service to our members, we are posting information about the major star parties held in the south central US.
Email [email protected] to post information about other star parties.

2021 Star Parties in the South Central US
Star Party Dates Nearest Town For more info: 
Texas Star Party May 2-9, 2021 Fort Davis, TX https://texasstarparty.org
UBarU tba Mountain Home, TX https://ubaru.org/home/starParty
Okie-Tex Oct 1-9, 2021 Kenton, OK http://www.okie-tex.com/
Eldorado Star Party November 1–6, 2021 Eldorado, TX https://eldoradostarparty.org/

 

October 01, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - October Membership Meeting

Save the date! The HAS Membership Meeting is the first Friday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

October 02, 2021, 6:15PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. The format has been changed a little bit for social distancing guidelines.  We won’t be able to have everyone share my scope, but if you have a scope of your own I can help you get started, or if not you can just enjoy the dark sky with your binoculars or naked eye and just begin learning your way around the constellations.  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:

7:00-8:00 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
8:00-8:30 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
8:30-11:30 - time to observe! I will be available to assist anyone to practice locating objects with their scope or binoculars. 
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

October 07, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - October Novice Presentation

Save the date! New to astronomy? This one’s for you. The HAS Novice Presentation is the first Thursday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

October 13, 2021, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

October 30, 2021, 5:45PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. The format has been changed a little bit for social distancing guidelines.  We won’t be able to have everyone share my scope, but if you have a scope of your own I can help you get started, or if not you can just enjoy the dark sky with your binoculars or naked eye and just begin learning your way around the constellations.  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:

6:30-7:30 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
7:30-8:00 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
8:00-11:30 - time to observe! I will be available to assist anyone to practice locating objects with their scope or binoculars. 
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

November 01, 2021, 12:00PM: 2021 Eldorado Star Party, November 1–6, 2021

As a service to our members, we are posting information about the major star parties held in the south central US.
Email [email protected]ronomyhouston.org to post information about other star parties.

2021 Star Parties in the South Central US
Star Party Dates Nearest Town For more info: 
Texas Star Party May 2-9, 2021 Fort Davis, TX https://texasstarparty.org
UBarU tba Mountain Home, TX https://ubaru.org/home/starParty
Okie-Tex Oct 1-9, 2021 Kenton, OK http://www.okie-tex.com/
Eldorado Star Party November 1–6, 2021 Eldorado, TX https://eldoradostarparty.org/

 

November 04, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - November Novice Presentation

Save the date! New to astronomy? This one’s for you. The HAS Novice Presentation is the first Thursday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

November 05, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - November Membership Meeting

Save the date! The HAS Membership Meeting is the first Friday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

November 10, 2021, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

November 27, 2021, 4:45PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. The format has been changed a little bit for social distancing guidelines.  We won’t be able to have everyone share my scope, but if you have a scope of your own I can help you get started, or if not you can just enjoy the dark sky with your binoculars or naked eye and just begin learning your way around the constellations.  Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and warm clothing, but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

5:30-6:30 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
6:30-7:00 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
7:00-9:30 - time to observe! I will be available to assist anyone to practice locating objects with their scope or binoculars. 
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 10 pm light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

December 02, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - December Novice Presentation

Save the date! New to astronomy? This one’s for you. The HAS Novice Presentation is the first Thursday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

December 03, 2021, 7:00PM: Save the Date - December Membership Meeting

Save the date! The HAS Membership Meeting is the first Friday of the month at 7pm via Zoom. Watch for details on how to register in the monthly Guidestar.

December 08, 2021, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

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