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NHAC ‘2018 Late Spring’ Gathering!

justin mccollumPublished May 21, 2018 by justin mccollum

Greetings to all of our club members, visitors, and guests!

We welcome you to the regular meetings of the North Houston Astronomy Club on the 4th Friday of every month.

Currently, our club has its monthly meetings at the Montgomery campus of the Lone Star College system for 2018.

Lone Star – Montgomery Campus is north of the Woodlands, TX on the West Side of I45 and East of the WG Jones State Forest near SH 242.

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

Lone Star – Montgomery Campus

Physical Address

3200 College Park Dr.

Conroe, TX 77384

Our gathering begins 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. (NHAC Vice President)


“The Constellation of Hercules”


The Astronomical League Deep Sky
Binocular Challenge!




Artistic rendering of the Hercules constellation

The Constellation of Hercules. By rank in the area of sq. deg. it is the 5th largest constellation out of the 88 officially recognized constellations that only observable in the night skies.


Award Pin design for the astronomical league deep sky binocular challenge

The Astronomical League Deep Sky Binocular Challenge award pin.

Come to our May Novice meeting watch and listen to our distinguished NHAC Vice President, Dr. Bruce Pollard performs a double presentation on the Constellation of Hercules and the details of the Astronomical League’s observation program on the Deep Sky Binocular Challenge. Hercules is the 5th largest constellation in the night skies of either the northern or southern hemisphere by the area measured in square degrees (sq. deg.). It is home to the famous Hercules Cluster (Messier 13) one of the most famous globular star clusters residing within the halo of the Milky Way as known by humanity. Learn about the various features and DSOs that are observable within the constellation.

The second presentation will be on the Astronomical Leagues binocular challenge program of which there are more than 60 such observing programs for all amateur astronomers who are members of Astronomy club that join the AL from the very novice (beginner) to the ultra-advanced! About 60 objects from a list provided by the league for this particular program must be observed and recorded in order to receive the certificate of completion and the official pin for your observation awards collection.

Below is a series of links extending on Dr. Pollard’s talk

The Constellation of Hercules

The Hercules Globular Cluster

Hercules: Famous Stars & DSOs!

Deep Sky Binocular Program

Binocular Stargazing Catalogue

Binocs for Astronomy & Sky Watching!

Place: Lone Star College – Montgomery Campus

Location: Classroom Bldg. B (1st Floor Auditorium – Room B102)

Time: (7:30 – 10:00) PM

There will be no official speakers for this Friday so we will have the following short updates and presentations!

Justin McCollum (Professor Comet) – Recap of Texas Star Party 2018 & 2018 Special Comet Report!

Dr. Aaron Clevenson – Updates on the activities at the Insperity Observatory

Dr. Bruce Pollard – Spectroscopy at Insperity

C/2016 M1 (PanSTARRS) Comet.

Comet C/2016 M1 (PanSTARRS). Photographed by Michael Jager (c) on 12 May 2018 and currently at 9th magnitude while located between Draco and Hercules.


Image of the front entrance to the  Insperity observatory.

The Insperity Observatory directed by Dr. Aaron Clevenson (AL Coordinator for NHAC) and is a collaboration of the Insperity organization and Humble ISD (located on the grounds of the Jack M Fields Sr. Elementary School, Humble TX).


A simple image of stellar spectroscopy

This is an absorption spectrum of the star Denebola in the constellation of Taurus. Denebola is classified as Type A3V with a surface temperature of ~8000 K. The star is a hot, A – Class (meaning a hot whitish star).

To Learn more about the following short talks:

An Overview of Comets

Sky & Telescope on Facts about Comets!

Cultural History of Comets

Texas Star Party

The Insperity Observatory

Science at Insperity!

Introduction to Stellar Spectroscopy