March is a Time for Renewal
Although most people associate January as the month when we turn a new page on the new year, for me, March is really a time for renewal. As we leave February and head into the third month, it marks the waning of our winter season and all of the worst that Jack Frost can throw at us. Grass starts to green a bit, leaves start to grow on trees, and the first buds on seasonal plants start to make their appearance. In years past, given enough rain during the winter, you might even begin spotting your first bluebonnets in our part of Texas in March, as well.
From an astronomical sense, March is when spring technically starts, with the vernal equinox landing on March 20. As some of you may remember, this is the day when there is an equal amount of sunlight hitting the earth on both the northern and southern hemispheres. From here on out, we more amounts of sunshine in the northern hemisphere, while our friends below the equator start to plunge into their fall season.
But in addition to the renewal that takes place with nature around us, here at the Houston Astronomical Society, it’s a time for renewal, as well. It’s in March when we start to really implement some of the new programs changes the leadership has planned for during our January planning meeting, and it’s also a time when we set the new gate codes for our dark site location near Columbus, TX. It’s important that if you haven’t renewed your membership for 2021 that you do so quickly so that there’s no disruption to your access to all of the great programs and amenities that your club has to offer. Whether it the access to the observing site for some excellent, dark skies within a short driving distance from Houston, to the use of our vast library of loaner telescopes, and, my personal favorite, being part of a community of astronomy enthusiasts who share their growth in this hobby together, the Houston Astronomical Society values each and every one of our members. When I became president, I said that our members are the most important asset our club has to offer, and I will never be persuaded otherwise. So please renew your membership at https://astronomyhouston.org/members/renew if you haven’t done so yet, and for all of you who have done so, we look forward to this next trip around the sun with you in 2021.
Recently, the Houston Astronomical Society welcomed its 800th member to the club. As far as I know (and I’ve asked others who have been with the club for a long time) this is the largest number of members we’ve ever had. For years, people lamented the “graying” of amateur astronomy, but if the last year has shown us anything, it’s that people of all ages are actively pursuing our hobby. I’ve heard from our friends in other clubs here locally and around the United States, and they all say that they’re experiencing significant membership growth, as well, so we’re excited to see all of the new people entering this hobby!
It’s important for us to make sure we’re hitting the mark on everything our members, new and not so new, need, so if you have questions, comments, or concerns, you can always email me ([email protected]) and I’ll make sure to answer those, and if I can’t put you with the right person who can!