NHAC ‘2019 Winter’ Gathering!

justin mccollumPublished January 17, 2019 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.

Celebrate our return to our original gathering place at the Lone Star College-Kingwood Campus

The Kingwood campus is located on the west side of I 69 (US Highway 59), north side of Kingwood Drive, and NW of the Kingwood Medical Center.

Click below here to see the Map and Driving Directions!
(Parking permits are not required after 6 PM!)

Lone Star-Kingwood Campus

See the following Campus Map

kingwood map

All Members, Guests, and Visitors park at the Parking Lot C across the Sortes-McClellan Road. The CLA building we both the novice and general meetings gather is building 4 as shown on this map. Click on the image above to get a pdf file with more information about the campus layout.

Physical Address

20000 Kingwood Dr.

Kingwood, TX 77339

Our gathering begins with the Novice Meeting:

Place: Lone Star College-Kingwood Campus

Location: Classroom Building A (CLA) – (2nd Floor – Room CLA221)
The Astronomy Classroom

Time: (6:30 – 7:15) PM

Speaker: Dr. Bruce Pollard
(NHAC Vice President)


2019 Highlights and Late Winter Constellations

Image result for late winter constellations

Dr. Bruce Pollard our distinguished Club Member and VP Vice President will be discussing about the highlights and constellations observable in the night sky during the middle and late winter 2019. It is during this time that the Winter Constellations of the great asterism known as ‘The Winter Hexagon‘ is visible containing the constellations of Orion, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Canis Minor, and Canis Major. There are other constellations within this Hexagon and neighboring it such as Monoceros, Cancer, Eridanus, Lepus, Puppis, and Columba.

This presentation will likely to include information on meteor showers, DSOs (Deep Sky Objects), planets available for observation (Uranus and Neptune), etc..

It will be great for all those new to the club or new to the hobby of Astronomy to attend this presentation and learn all the basics and interesting facts, locations, and celestial points of interest for investigation of the Winter Skies from now and well into February.

Learn more from the following References

The Winter Constellations

Astro-Noo (The Universe in all its forms)

Legends of the Night Sky: Orion (Great for Kids!)

DSOs to observe this Winter!

Inside the Orion Nebula

The Skyscrapers: The Sky in January.

 The gathering concludes with the General Meeting:

Place: Lone Star College-Kingwood Campus

Location: Classroom Building A (CLA) – (1st Floor – Room CLA112)
The Teaching Teacher Auditorium

Time: (7:30 – 10:00) PM

Speaker: Prof. Justin McCollum
(Professor Comet)


The Magnetic Fields of the Natural Satellites

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Ganymede is the only known natural satellite within our Solar system that has an inherent magnetosphere. This means that the moon can generate its own magnetic field which acts as a magnetic balloon that nearly surrounds the body while residing inside the magnetic field of Jupiter as it orbits the planet.


Professor Comet will take you on a journey of exploration and discovery about the nature of magnetic fields that exist within the major natural satellites (moons) that orbit the planets Jupiter and Saturn (Jovian Gas Giants). There are two types of common magnetic fields: Intrinsic and Extrinsic. Intrinsic fields are naturally generated within a physical body due to a natural dynamo in which electricity is generated producing electrical currents which in turn produce magnetic fields. Extrinsic fields are the result of energy shifted from an outside source of electrical currents that produce an outside magnetic field which in turn subjects any body of mass moving through this field to produce electrical charges which generate a separate magnetic field for that body.

Extrinsic fields are very week and can only be sustained by an outside source that can charge up the interior mass of passerby body for as long as the body remains in the magnetic field of the outside source. Sometimes a natural satellite orbiting about a very massive planet (example: Europa orbiting Jupiter) gravitational tidal forces can internally heat up a body or if the body has a layer of conductive material such as a probable global ocean of saltwater under a global sheet of water ice (example: Europa). This can be a separate source of energy which can be shifted into electrical energy that contributes to the magnetic field for such a small body.

Come along for the journey to explore and learn more about the magnetism and magnetic envelopes or balloons that form around the natural satellites of Jupiter and Saturn!

Learn more from the following References

The Magnetic Field of Jupiter

The Magnetic field of Saturn

Magnetism for Kids

Magnetism, Magnetic Flux, & Magnetic Materials

The Nature of Magnetospheres

Magnetic Fields of the Moons of Jupiter and Saturn
(Sophisticated Reading, but very informative!)

Saturn magnetizes Titan (WOW)! 

Ganymede: Magnetism & Chorus Waves