June, 2016

Volume XVI, Number 6

This Month's  remaining events

June 24

General Meeting, Lone Star College,

Kingwood Campus

Next Month's Events

July 1 -- Insperity Observatory Public Night

July 2 -- Star Party--O'Brien Dark Site

July 4--New Moon

July 22 -- General Meeting

Kingwood Campus

June 24, 2016

Novice Program

 6:30 - 7:15pm in the Cosmic Forum, upstairs in the CLA building, Lone Star College, Kingwood Campus.


Summer Skies and Black Hole Basics

Presented by Bruce and William Pollard

General Meeting

 7:30 P.M., Lone Star College, Kingwood Campus,

CLA Lecture Hall

"What's Up Doc?"

by Dr. Aaron Clevenson for next month

will be posted on the NHAC Website.



1.  The Officers for 2016 are:

President --                              Aaron Clevenson

Vice-President--                        Bruce Pollard

Secretary--                               Susan Pollard

Treasurer--                               David Lambert

Newsletter Editor--                    Rusty Hill

Astronomical League Coord.--   James Barbasso

Webmaster--                            Justin McCollum

Observation Committee Chair-  James Billings

Membership Committee Chair-  David Tomlin

Program Committee Chair--      Todd Sullivan


2.  Our Astronomical League Coordinator is Jim Barbasso.

The Astronomical League URL is: https://www.astroleague.org/

3.  For all members, please remember to pick up your Name Badge before the meeting, wear it, and return it after this meeting so you will still have a name tag at the next meeting.  We do not want any members to be nameless.

4.  2016 Remaining General Meeting Schedule:



August 26

September 23

October 28

November 18

December 16

5.  I have moved the URL for the 2017 Solar Eclipse here to the Notes section for ease of access.  I will keep it here through the August, 2017, Newsletter.

August 2017 Solar Eclipse URL:


or simply google <2017 solar eclipse>

6.  If the weather should be good on the night of our General meeting, June 24,  it is likely that some members will go to the Insperity Observatory after the meeting.  If you have opportunity to come by, it would be a good opportunity to check it out.  Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars are spectacular in the large telescopes.



Star Party July 2, 2016!

Please note: Star Party also on July 30

Sunset on July 2 will be at 8:29 P.M. and there will be only a sliver of moon, at 4:49 A.M. Sunday Morning.  On July 30, Sunset will be 8:18 P.M., and Moonrise Sunday Morning will be at 4:31 A.M.  Weather permitting, we should have a very nice evenings for observing, both on July 2 and 4 weeks later on July 30.

If you are new to the club  this is especially for you.  We, the members, are the reason we have observing events such as this, and it is a great occasion to get your feet wet observing.  We do have 10" Dobsonian scopes available at the Dark Site for your use, and there will be several other scopes available for all to try.  And do bring a Binocular-- you can do lots of successful observing with nothing more.

Club Policy is that the focus of the Star Parties will be to give as much assistance as possible to new observers.

For those who may not have been to the O'Brien Dark Site, it is just north of Dobbin, which is on Highway 105 west of Montgomery.  It has reasonably dark skies, and a great low horizon in all directions.  The Owners, Tim and Wanda O'Brien are very generous hosts, and they do turn off any outside lights which might bother us, if we remember to ask.

The specific Dark Site location is password protected.  Any club officer can give you the password, but it is NOT FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

On our NHAC web site, click on "Observing" then select "O'Brien Dark Site".  Scroll down to the O'Brien Dark Site information and look for the "detailed directions" link.  You will need to enter the password.  There are maps as well as directions.  It is well worth the drive, which is about 6 or 7 minutes driving time North of Dobbin off of State Highway 105 west of Montgomery.

Star Parties are routinely scheduled for the Saturday on, just before, or just after the New Moon throughout the year.  This is to provide the best opportunity for dark skies.

2016 tentative projected schedule,

subject to change:

July 2

July 30

August 27

No date in September

October 1 Bar-Be-Que

October 29 Backup Bar-Be-Que

November 26

December 17

NHAC is a proud member of:

Astronomical League/NASA Night Sky Network/International Dark-Sky Association

 Public Night will be on July 1, 2016.

Sunset will be at  8:26 P.M. Central Standard Time.

Doors will be open by about 8:15 P.M. and remain open to the public until 10:00 P.M.

These Public Nights are a tremendous opportunity for us to be a part of Astronomy Outreach, and also to observe with scopes we might never get to use, otherwise.  The Observatory has a 16" and a 20" telescope, each computer controlled, which provide awesome views of the sky.  There are usually about 75 guests, sometimes more, on Public Night, several repeating.  Our guests are very appreciative of the opportunity to enjoy and expose their kids to Astronomy.  Then after all our guests have departed, several of us usually stay for a while and enjoy the views and each other's company.

The Observatory is about 3/4 of a mile south of Will Clayton Parkway on S. Houston Ave, just north of Rankin Road in Humble, in the back part of the Jack Fields Elementary School on the East side of S. Houston Ave.  For information, see the web site or the address below.

*Dates and times are subject to change.

The Insperity Observatory is at:

Jack Fields Elementary School

2505 S. Houston Ave.

Humble, TX 77396

Observatory Phone number is 281-641-STAR.


Rusty's Ramblings


Hello, NHACers:

It has been a relatively slow month.

The other night, Dave Tomlin, James Billings and I successfully put some "moving" parts together, and were able to set up guiding for the 16" scope at Insperity.  We had the guide camera, an Atik Titan mounted on the Shelyak Spectroscope, the guiding software PHD2 ("Push Here Dummy"), and the Paramount mount carrying the 16" Meade scope with the spectroscope on it, all recognizing and talking with each other.

A part of the spectroscope "equipage" is a mirror which diverts some of the light to the guide scope, while allowing the desired star light to shine through a slit in the mirror onto the spectroscope itself.  This allows the guide scope to lock onto a star close to the target, and guide on it.  It was a real moment of happy success when we got all the parts "playing nice" together. We guided on Anteres for the better part of an hour.  We then flipped to the west and tracked M3 for a while, as well as some other objects.

Oh, and Mars was awesome in the 20" scope when the seeing allowed.

It is truly a treat to be able to use the equipment at the Insperity Observatory.

Clear Skies, All,


The North Houston Astronomy Club (NHAC), was formed for educational and scientific purposes, for people of all races, creeds, ethnic backgrounds and sex, for the primary purpose of developing and implementing programs designed to increase the awareness and knowledge of astronomy, especially for those living near the north side of Houston Texas.

NHAC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the opportunity for all individuals to pursue the science of astronomy, by observing in a dark-sky site, learning the latest technology, and sharing their knowledge and experience. Thus, our “Observe-Learn-Share” motto.

North Houston Astronomy Club is Sponsored by:

 Membership Benefits

Discounts on Purchases at Land, Sea and Sky.  Be sure to identiry yourself as an NHAC member.

Loaner Telescopes after being a member for 6 months.

Opportunity to observe from Dark Sky Observing Sites.

Learn from Experienced Observers.

Astronomy Magazine subscriptions at a discount.

Membership in the Astronomical League, with multiple Observing Clubs available.

Included subscription to the Astronomical League magazine "Reflector".

Access to the NHAC Library

Observe - Learn - Share

The North Houston Astronomy Club is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by Lone Star College-Kingwood, dedicated to increasing the awareness and knowledge of the science of astronomy. Public meetings are normally held each month on the fourth Friday.  In the months of October, November and December they are usually rescheduled for the third Friday of each month, so as to not conflict with the Annual All Clubs meeting, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.