Announcing the HAS Texas 45 Progression
Are you new to observing? Would you like to dip your toes into a structured observing program? Why not try the HAS Texas 45 fifteen objects at a time? It’s the same list, but ordered in increasing level of difficulty. Complete each level and get awarded a snazzy completion certificate. See below, then scroll to the bottom of the page to download the object lists and log sheets.
HAS Novice 15 ==> HAS Novice 30 ==> HAS Texas 45 bronze|silver|gold
Here's what the award looks like, suitable for framing:
** Need a little help finding the easier objects? **
Download the monthly SkyMaps to help you find the brighter list objects: http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html
What kind of objects will I be looking for?
The Texas 45 is an observing program designed for the motivated novice and intermediate observer so we want to make sure you see a wide variety of objects. The object list includes: planetary nebulae, diffuse nebulae, open star clusters, globular star clusters, galaxies, a carbon star, variable stars, multiple star systems, constellations, and solar system objects. Special emphasis is placed on southern objects like Omega Centauri, easily viewed from Columbus. How cool is that?
What kind of telescope can I use? How about binoculars?
Any size telescope can be used—GoTo, PushTo, or manual. Binoculars can be used for a number of list objects. A few observations do require at least a 6" aperture telescope. With 60 objects to choose from and only 45 to log, choose the bigger or brighter objects if aperture is a concern.
I’m in! What do I need to do?
- Observe list objects at the HAS observing site only.
- Complete the dark site log report on the website for each observing session.
- Observe at least 10 objects from each season's list. That’s 40 objects, 10 each from winter, spring, summer, and autumn.
- Observe 5 solar system objects of your choice, any time of year. That makes 45 objects: the HAS Texas 45.
- Record your observations and send the completed log to the HAS Texas 45 program coordinator.
If you’ve already observed some objects at the site, fill out the HAS Texas 45 observation log like usual, estimating when you were at the site. Also, non-members are welcome to work on the list in the company of an HAS member. Special rules may apply.
Do I get an award?
Observers who successfully complete the HAS Texas 45 observing program will be presented both a pin and a certificate of completion at the HAS general membership meeting.
- Earn the bronze certificate by observing 45 objects, electronic finding aids or go-to telescope okay.
- Earn the silver certificate by observing either (a) 45 objects using star hopping only, or (b) all 65 objects using go-to or electronic finding aids.
- Go for the gold by observing all 65 objects using the star hopping method only. Certificates designate the award level; the pin remains the same
Contact Rene Gedaly at Texas45@astronomyhouston.org. You can learn more about the Texas 45 progression by viewing the recorded presentation in the members-only view of the website. It covers not only the HAS Texas 45, but also how to approach any observing list. Log in and click Recorded HAS Presentations from the sidebar under MEMBER FEATURES.
The following members have completed the HAS Texas 45 observing program. Congratulations!
- Steve Fast, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #1
- Rob Torrey, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #2
- Rene Gedaly, author, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #3
- Chris Thiede, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #4
- Amelia Goldberg, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #5
- Craig Lamison, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #6
- Clayton Jeter, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #7
- Brian Cudnik, silver level award, 65 objects, certificate #8
- Steve Goldberg, silver level award, 45 objects via star hopping, certificate #9
- Craig Lamison, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #10
- Mike Edstrom, bronze level award, 40 seasonal objects plus 5 solar system objects with a OSC camera, certificate #1
- Kailash Mirpuri, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #11
- Ron Birkhoff, gold level award, 65 objects via star hopping, certificate #12