January 2020

February 07, 2020: HAS Monthly Meeting

Novice Meeting: 6:30PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
21 Lunar Facts
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Bill Spizzirri
General Meeting: 7:15PM
General Meeting Topic: 
The Amateur in Astronomy: Past, Present, and Local
General Meeting Speaker: 
Larry Mitchell
About the General Meeting Presentation

Meeting room and Astro Cafe open at 6:00pm. Come join us in the Astro Café for some social time before the Novice Meeting at 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. Feel free to bring your earth friendly coffee cup.

Speaker – Larry Mitchell

We are fortunate to have many accomplished members in HAS and one of them is certainly our own Larry Mitchell. Larry will be discussing the contributions that Amateurs have made to Astronomy, including several from our own locale. Please join us for this entertaining and enlightening talk.

Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, which is located at 1414 Wirt Rd, Houson, TX 77055.

PARKING INFORMATION: Free parking in the lot in front of the TMCC.

Map to Trini Mendenhall Community Center

Visual Challenge Object Feb 2020 - NGC 2261

NGC 2261 – Hubble’s Variable Nebula

NGC 2261 is a bright diffuse nebula in the constellation Monoceros.  It was discovered by William Herschel in 1783.  It became quite famous in the early 20th century as Edwin Hubble and others observed the object showing very different appearances in different photographs.  It is now theorized these variations are changes in the shadows cast by dust clouds around the embedded star R Monocerotis.  The nebula was also the subject of the very first image taken by the 200-inch telescope at Palomar Observatory in 1949. 

Novice Labs at the Dark Site

New to astronomy and not sure how to get started?  Join HAS’ Stephen Jones at the HAS Dark Site for a hands-on introduction to navigating the night sky and telescope operation.  These Novice Labs are held monthly, except for the months with the late-starting summer nights.  Head to the event calendar here on the website and find one that works for you.  Contact Stephen at [email protected] for more info or to RSVP today!

Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG)

Interested in visual astronomy?  Join the HAS Visual Special Interest Group.  Email me at [email protected] to be added to the VSIG email list to receive and send communications to and from all VSIG members.  Check back here for visual astronomy related content including monthly observing challenges and other articles. 

-Stephen Jones – VSIG moderator

Asterisms - Barbecue Fork

(Posted 1/14/2020)

By: Steve Goldberg

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.

Constellation: Taurus
Right Ascension:  05h 43m 00.0s
Declination: +21° 20' 00"
Magnitude: 8 to 11
Size: 1.5 degrees


Welcome to Houston Astronomical Society!

Dear New Member,

We have added you to the HAS membership roster. Welcome to the Houston Astronomical Society (HAS)! Membership has its benefits, but there’s no way to list all of them in one email. We hope that what follows below will get you off to a good start.

Letter from the President - January 2020

2020 – A Year for Involvement

37958651_10212934733226207_4498753830518784000_n.jpgHappy New Year and here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2020 ahead!

Before I begin, though, I’d like to take a moment to thank Don Selle and all of the previous year’s leaders for their commitment and dedication to the Houston Astronomical Society.  I know many of our leaders are continuing on in some capacity with the club in 2020, but their contributions in 2019 are very well appreciated, and they are the reason why the club is able to provide all of the great amenities it does for our membership.

The new year is a time for renewal and resolutions – an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s just passed and to commit to making things better in the upcoming trip around our sun.  Some of those resolutions we make are purely aspirational and are almost a byproduct of the calendar flip.  Heck, I’ve been saying that I’m going to lose those stubborn pounds at the gym every January for years now.  However, other resolutions are an opportunity to really focus on doing things that improve our lives or make us happy in some simple way.

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Meeting at Mendenhall

2020 JanMtg.PNG


Old friends, new members, and visitors start the new year at the January HAS meetings at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd, Houston, TX 77055.

From top left going clockwise: Speaker Don Selle, good friends Larry Mitchell, Don Selle, Dana Lambert, Jayne Lambert, and Sue Conner Medders at the Astro Café, Doug McCormick gives announcements to attendees, Kat Pedersen signs in attendees using the new badge sysem.

Posted by: rene-gedaly Link: https://www.astronomyhouston.org/content/meeting-mendenhall

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