Upcoming Events

October 2021

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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] 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 https://ubaru.org/home/starParty
Okie-Tex Oct 1-9, 2021 Kenton, OK http://www.okie-tex.com/
Eldorado Star Party Nov 1-6, 2021 Eldorado, TX https://eldoradostarparty.org/

 

November 04, 2021, 7:00PM: Novice Presentation - via Zoom

            “Star and Galaxy Hopping.

           with Justin McCollum
 
Justin3.jpg

One of the key skills that a new astronomer needs to learn is how to navigate the night sky in order to find objects of interest. Long before the advent of GoTo technology, astronomers relied on good star charts and a technique called star hopping to get then where they wanted to go in the sky. At times, when brighter stars are not available, such as toward the Galactic poles where most galaxy clusters are found, it can become convenient to use known galaxies as signposts in the sky.

Justin will describe how star hopping and galaxy hopping is done, what to look for in a star chart, and other tools you can use to make your exploration of the night sky successful and enjoyable.

Speaker Bio: Justin McCollum is a long time member of HAS and is on the staff of Lamar University where he is the Physics Laboratory Coordinator.

To Register for Zoom Meeting: 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/tZMpc-qurjoiHtNczXhbUU6d9GYWXL9WjxhU

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 November 4th!

November 05, 2021, 7:00PM: HAS Monthly Meeting - via Zoom

 The Art of Visual Observing and Preserving your Observations

by Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones.jpg

Abstract –  One of the most frequently cited reasons many newcomers to astronomy give for wanting to get into astrophotography rather than visual observing is because they want to be able to show others what they looked at.  What many folks don't realize is that visual observations can be easily preserved as well, even without much artistic skill, with the right logging techniques.  Additionally, careful observation with the intent of making a good log can also improve your observational skills itself.  Stephen will discuss the fundamentals of making a good visual observation, and how to make a good record of your observations

Our Speaker – Stephen Jones  is HAS Vice President

When Stephen was six years old, his dad Stan Jones, gave him 60mm Tasco refractor and started trying to teach him to use it.  Having limited success, Stan looked for help and found HAS.  Stan’s efforts lead him to take up astronomy himself and acquire 10” Meade SCT. Stan was a regular out at the HAS Dark Site with Stephen enthusiastically along for the ride. 

Later in life, Stephen rekindled his interest in astronomy, and with a 6 inch dob from the HAS loaner program, then later a 10 inch dob and a 16 inch dob rebuilt using the mirrors from his dad’s scope, he completed the requirements for the Master Observer award. 

Stephen has also served three years as Field Trip and Observing chair of HAS, and conducts Novice Labs at the Dark Site, where he teaches the night sky and the basics of using a telescope to those new to astronomy

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Since we're still practicing safe social distancing, we will bring our September 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/tZYqde2tpzwqGdcZJwZonWHMM974soy5KQk_

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 November 5th!

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

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 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 

February 26, 2022, 6:30PM: Dob Shed Café at the Dark Site

It’s Central Standard Time and that means earlier and more comfortable observing, albeit a bit chilly. Tonight, it also means the Dob Shed Café at the dark site is open. Schmooze over a cup of hot coffee, cocoa, tea, or cider. Snacks, too. Dark site orientation required. 

Be safe everyone!
ReneCovid.PNG
Rene Gedaly
[email protected]

March 26, 2022, 7:30PM: Dob Shed Café at the Dark Site

I guess it’s no longer Central Standard Time, but close enough. Tonight we’ll hold our last Dob Shed Café of the season. Schmooze over a cup of hot coffee, cocoa, tea, or cider. Snacks, too. Dark site orientation required. 

Be safe everyone!
ReneCovid.PNG
Rene Gedaly
[email protected]

October 29, 2022, 5:00PM: HAS Halloween Picnic

The Halloween Picnic is back! Bring the kids, bring the red lights, and bring a bag of candy to share. Dinner is at 6pm and Trick or Treat is at 7pm so come early to set up your telescope. Kids of all ages love meeting old friends and new at the dark site. Light rules apply so review the online orientation. Questions? Contact Rene Gedaly

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