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The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Houston Astronomical Society will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 8:00pm at the University of Houston in room SR117. Agenda Items for the AGM include:

1. Nomination of Officers and Directors

The 2018 Nominating Committee have assembled the following slate of candidates for HAS elected positions.  Nominating Committee members are:

The slate of candidates for HAS elected positions is:


Nominations will also be taken from the floor for all positions.

2. Voting

Voting will be done in person at the AGM, and by electronic ballot in the week following the AGM. Members present at the AGM shall be entitled to vote in Person. Having voted at the meeting, they will not be able to vote electronically.

Members not attending the AGM shall be eligible to vote electronically. Electronic voting shall be open for 7 days, from 5 November through 11 November and available to members via a link to the ballot on the Members Only pages. Each member eligible to vote must be logged into the HAS website, and shall be able to vote once for each position.

Results of the voting shall be announced via the HAS website shortly after voting is closed on 11 November.

General Meeting Topic
"Whats up at HAS" - a Panel Discussion and Open Session for Member Input
General Meeting Speaker
By Members of the HAS Leadership Team
Novice Meeting Topic
Electronically Assisted Astronomy: My First 100 Days
Novice Meeting Speaker
Craig Shine

Tonight’s meeting is the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Membership of the Houston Astronomical Society.


7:00 pm Craig Shine –  "Electronically Assisted Astronomy: My First 100 Days"
A discussion of equipment and cameras meant to enhance observing in light polluted city skies.
8:00pm – General Announcements
8:10 pm – Nominating Committee presents slate for election and nominations taken from the floor
8:20 pm – In person Voting
Electronic voting opened to the membership for one week after the meeting
8:30 pm – Panel Discussion – What’s Up at HAS?
Members of the HAS Leadership Team will discuss Society demographics, trends, plans, and programs as well as solicit input and support from you. For the past several years, your Leadership Team has been holding a day long meeting in January to plan the direction and activities of HAS for the comming year. This panel discussion is meant to encourage discussion with and input by the members of HAS in preparation for this annual planning meeting.

by Don Selle, President

Like many non-profit organizations, HAS runs on and is lead by a group of dedicated volunteers. If we had to pay a staff to do the many things it takes just to keep HAS a viable organization, our annual dues HAShero.PNGwould be, well, astronomical.

HAS is a “hobby club” in many ways. We exist so our members have a better and more enjoyable experience doing amateur astronomy. When viewed this way, volunteering to edit a monthly newsletter or to collect dues and pay bills, or to maintain our dark site in Columbus seems to compete with our hobby time “doing” amateur astronomy.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart” – Elizabeth Andrew

So, what gives? What do the volunteers who make HAS go get in return for giving up some of their “hobby” time? To begin to answer this question, you need to look no further than the mission of HAS which is: Fostering the science and art of astronomy through programs that serve our membership and the community. It sounds a bit cliché, but through serving others, we serve ourselves and enhance our own lives. This is especially true when we are doing something we are passionate about, and passion for astronomy is at the heart of being a member of HAS! Be a Hero – Volunteer

For the full article, click the October 2018 Guidestar link.

by Rene Gedaly, Past President

KarlaC14Caption.PNGIf you’ve ever wanted to learn how to operate the observatory telescopes, now’s your chance. The Observatory Trainers, including yours truly, will conduct a special female-only class on operating two of the Society’s permanently housed telescopes: the computer-operated Celestron C14 GoTo telescope and the F5 Newtonian reflector outfitted with digital setting circles.

After completing this training, you will be able to schedule time on an observatory telescope to use all evening long. When you’re done, close the observatory—building operations is an integral part of the course—and get some shuteye in the female bunkhouse.

Date: Saturday November 10, 2018
Prerequisites: 6 months membership and completion of online site training. Knowledge of basic telescope functionality and a working understanding of equatorially mounted astronomical telescopes. Students must be at least 16 years of age. All prerequisites on the HAS website.
RSVP: [email protected].  Class limited to 6 students.
Note: Are you missing the “equatorially mounted telescope” prerequisite? Attend the Oct 9 Loaner Telescope Training at the Mendenhall Center. This session will give you the hands-on knowledge you need. RSVP to [email protected].

by Jim King, Field Trip & Observing


Annual Messier Challenge

A plan to learn the joy and excitement of observing the Universe

One of the issues we as Novice Astronomers face is a program or plan of how to get started in observing.  After gazing at the Moon and planets a few times, the next question is, “What now?”

Charles Messier was an 18th-19th century French astronomer who began his career as a comet chaser.  Over the course of his life, he used, among others, his 3.5-inch refractor telescope to scan the cosmos looking for…comets.   During this endeavor, he managed to identify and document the majority of what has become known as The Messier Catalogue.

This catalogue identifies 110 of the most-observable and beautiful objects, visible in the northern hemisphere, that we as novice and more experienced astronomers alike, can enjoy searching out and observing.  These objects can be found using almost any level of decent modern telescope with many visible simply with good binoculars or even by plain eyesight.  Some can be seen from your back yard.  Others will require darker locales or periodic trips to a dark site... For the full article, which includes a suggested object list for the Fall/Winter season, click the October 2018 Guidestar link.