August 2019

Make a difference. Join us Sep 7 or Sep 10

At Discovery Green, we routinely get hundreds of visitors who come out just to look through our telescopes. At other events, we might only have 40-50. In either case, the kid who looks through your telescope might end up being the next Edwin Hubble, Carl Sagan, or Clyde Tombaugh. All it take is a spark; and I like to think that, if nothing else, we're doing our small part to provide that. That's why outreach is one of the most important functions we have as a society.  I implore you, if you've never done one of these outreach events before, join us for one in the near future. 

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First, it's a great opportunity to meet other members of the club and get to know others who share the same passion you do about astronomy. Second, you'll learn a lot from those people. And lastly, you get to interact with people from all walks of life who just want to learn, and chances are, you'll be able to help them with that.

Out next event at Discovery Green is Saturday, September 7, and then we have another star party at the Westbury Community Garden on September 10. Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon will all still be visible then, so there will be no shortage of things to look at. If you're interested in joining us for either, please email me at [email protected] to let me know.  Bring a telescope or just bring yourself and help out however you're comfortable!

Joe Khalaf
Vice President and Education & Outreach Co-Chair
Houston Astronomical Society

Observatory Training: Class Prerequisites

Prerequisite requirements for students taking observatory training
  • Must be at least 16 years of age or older.
  • Must be a Society member in good standing with all dues paid.
  • Have full knowledge of all general site rules and have completed the general site orientation.
  • Must have been a Society member for at least 6 months.
  • Must have knowledge of basic telescope functionality and procedures and have a working understanding of equatorially mounted astronomical telescopes. It is also recommended, though not required, that users be familiar with using TheSkyX.
  • Will be required to execute an observatory building use agreement which is a contract of limited liability covering all rules, regulations, and requirements governing the use of observatory building facilities. Members under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian execute the agreement on behalf of a minor user that is 16 or 17 years of age.
Training Overview

Training covers opening and closing the observatory, operating the 12.5”  f/5 and C14 telescopes, and securing the building in case of emergency. Incidentally, you must take this general observatory training before you can register for training on the 12” Ritchey-Chrétien imaging telescope, aka “Bob’s Dream.”

Training also covers the topics below with a break for dinner. Actual start times vary through the year, but in general, training starts at 2pm CST or at 4pm CDT. Before sundown students will reconvene to demonstrate competence in these areas:

  • Understanding the burden of responsibility for the facility
  • Documenting  "as found condition” and “as left condition" of the observatory
  • Proper use of startup and shutdown of the telescopes
  • Use of emergency procedures

Rene Gedaly

 

Clone of Observatory Training - Class Prerequisites

Prerequisite requirements for students taking observatory training
  • Must be at least 16 years of age or older.
  • Must be a Society member in good standing with all dues paid.
  • Have full knowledge of all general site rules and have completed the general site orientation.
  • Must have been a Society member for at least 6 months.

Outreach at Discovery Green

It’s that time again! Join the Outreach gang at Discovery Green Saturday. Details under Upcoming Events at right (or below, if viewing on your cell). Or check out the membership Facebook Group.DiscoveryGreenCollage.JPG

Congrats to newest observatory trainee

Congratulations Kay McCallum! Kay took observatory training back in March during one of our pop-up mid-week sessions. She was the only student so had to run the gauntlet of opening and closing and bending and lifting everything. But it was all worthwhile as you can see by Kay’s smiling face. 

Update: The next class is Saturday September 21. Interested? Check the requirements here: Observatory Training Prerequisites. Renember to watch for my email via  [email protected]. I’ll send it 2 to 3 weeks before the class date. And be sure to RSVP to Chris Ober, not me, when the email goes out.

Rene Gedaly
aka Astra Geekette

 

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Asterisms – Little Orion

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 8/6/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
 
Constellation: Cygnus
Right Ascension: 20h 56m 00.0s
Declination: + 43° 34' 00"
Magnitude: 6 to 9
Size: about 1 degree      
 
 
 
This asterism is composed of 7 stars that form a “little” constellation Orion. It is located near the star Deneb in Cygnus. Deneb is the “tail” of Cygnus the Swan.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This asterism is located next to the North American Nebula and near star 57 Cygnus.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this view with a 10” scope and 32mm eyepiece, you can see the 3 “belt stars” with 2 bright stars on either side representing Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel and Saiph.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The “Little Orion” is located on the edge of North American Nebula, NGC 7000, with “Betelgeuse” touching Florida. The “belt stars” point to the Gulf of Mexico. In really dark skies, the North American can be seen with the naked eye, and easily in binoculars. Make an attempt to see NGC 7000.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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