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2017 ‘Mid – Autumnal’ HNAC Gathering!

justin mccollumPublished October 13, 2017 by justin mccollum

Greetings to all of our club members, visitors, and guests! We welcome you to our next monthly gathering of the North Houston Astronomy Club on the 3rd Friday of this month (20 October 2017). This will be our second gathering at the new location in Conroe, TX!

Correct, the fourth Friday of this month happens to take place on the day of the Autumnal Equinox for 2017!

Due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the facilities at the Lone Star – Kingwood College (our usual monthly gathering) is not available for the rest of the year and so we have temporarily shifted our location to a new spot; Lone Star – Montgomery Campus north of the Woodlands, TX on the East Side of I45 and West of the WG Jones State Forest near SH 242.

Click below here for a Map of the Campus (Parking permits are not required after 6 PM!)

LSC – Montgomery

Click Here for Directions from Google Maps: Directions to Montgomery

Click Here for Directions from Mapquest: Directions to Montgomery

Physical Address

3200 College Park Dr.

Conroe, TX 77384

Our novice and general meetings will be taking place at this new location from now through December 2017.

Our special gathering will commence with the Novice Meeting:

Place: Lone Star College – Montgomery Campus

Location: Classroom Bldg. B

(2nd Floor – Room B203)

Time: (6:30 – 7:15) PM

Speaker: Dr. Bruce Pollard (Ph.D.)


‘Looking into our Milky Way!’

Dr. Pollard is in charge of our Novice program at NHAC and will provide a presentation on the history, formation, structure, and the different techniques available to modern Astronomers, Astrophysicists, and mathematicians into piercing the secrets and studying the Milky Way Galaxy. Our Milky Way Galaxy is the home for our star and can be observed in reasonably dark skies as it stretches like a glowing haze to both the northern and southern horizons in the Winter and Summer seasons. Come to this presentation to get a first-hand lesson into the basic understandings of our galaxy and how it compares and differs with other such galaxies in our vast, nearly endless Cosmos.

Below is a series of links to learn about the Milky Way Galaxy

An Atlas of the Universe

Gene Smith’s Astronomy Tutorial

Understanding the Milky Way

Evolution of the Milky Way

Galaxies for Beginners!

How to Photograph the Milky Way!

Our monthly gathering will conclude with the General Meeting:

Place: Lone Star College – Montgomery Campus

Location: Classroom Bldg. B

(1st Floor Auditorium – Room B102)

Time: (7:30 – 10:00) PM

Speaker: Dr. Aaron Clevenson (Insperity Observatory Director)


What’s Up With Gravitational Waves?

Dr. Clevenson will be presenting a talk regarding the natural behavior and latest discoveries in Gravitational Waves. Gravitational Waves are ripples in space-time that travel along the fabric of space-time at the speed of light. Whenever any celestial event involving mass undergoes a traumatic event some amount of the matter in that system will be covered into pure energy which is embedded in these gravitational waves that move away from the event. These waves do weaken the greater the distance traveled from the event as the energy in these waves dissipate over increasing distance into space.

Dr. Clevenson will talk will span from the discoveries made with the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravity-wave Observatory) to the award the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to the greatest theoreticians who contributed the most to the theory of Gravitational Waves.

Below is a series of links to learn about Gravitational Waves

The LIGO Observatory

LIGO Scientific Collaboration

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

VIRGO (European Gravitational Observatory)

Gravitational Waves

Brilliant.Org (Gravitational Waves)

The Physics HyperTextbook

The 3rd Saturday of  October 2017!
(21 October 2017)

Our ‘Mid-Autumn 2017’ NHAC Dark Site Star Party!

Bring your telescopes, binoculars, drinks, snacks, insect repellent, star atlases, red lights, chairs, folding tables, etc.. Come and Enjoy with the club the wonderful nights at our Dark Site for some great observing during this weekend of the October ‘New Moon’!


Starts at 6:44 PM CDT 

Ends at 6:47 PM CDT 

Civil Twilight

Starts at 6:27 PM CDT

Ends at 7:11 PM CDT

Nautical Twilight

Starts at 7:11 PM CDT

Ends at 7:39 PM CDT

Astronomical Twilight

Starts at 7:39 PM CDT 

Ends at 8:07 PM CDT

Optimal Night Time Observing

Starts at 8:07 PM CDT

Ends at 6:11 AM CDT (Following Day)

Please adhere to the policies and Dark Site etiquette for night sky observing at the ‘O’Brien Dark Site’ since this location is in fairly dark skies. We need all those who are club members or invited guests to be aware of those who come out to enjoy a night of observing under the Stars! All information is available in the ‘members only’ section of the club website available to those who have updated their dues and membership.

To learn more about our dark skies policies and rules of etiquette please go our webpage: Club Dark Site. To download the document on our rules at the dark site click on this link: NHAC Site.

There is no front gate the field is located to the right (West Side) of the property. There are no electrical outlets, so everything you bring that requires electricity will need to supply your own batteries and power units. The club’s storage unit is located near the fence on the far side of the field opposite to the road. O’Brien’s do provide restroom accommodations!