NHAC ‘Early Summer 2017’ Club Gathering!

justin mccollumPublished June 9, 2017 by justin mccollum

Greetings to all from the North Houston Astronomy Club!

All club members, visitors, and guests are invited and welcomed to attend our monthly club meetings at the Lone Star Kingwood College.

We will continue to have our novice and general meetings at the CLA Classroom Building on the Lone Star Campus in Kingwood, Texas.

(Date: 23 June 2017)

Our club meetings are held on the 4th Friday of every month except in November & December when our meetings are held on the 3rd Friday. Octobers depend on the date for the Annual Regional SE Texas Gulf Coast ‘All – Clubs’ meeting as it is scheduled in conjunction with the 1st Qtr Moon phase during that month!

All novice meetings commence at 6:30 pm on the 2nd Floor in the Astronomy Classroom which is accessible either by the two-quarter, winding staircase next to the CLA Building auditorium or the elevators down the main corridor on the south side of the building.  The stairs will be located on your left upon entry into the building with respect to the main entryway facing the parking lot on the west end of the campus.  You will need to make another left turn next to the ‘Teaching Teacher’ Auditorium where access to the stairs will be on your left again and the doors to the auditorium will be on your right. The elevators to the second floor are down the main hall which will be to your right upon passing through the entryway into CLA building facing the parking lot. There is a corridor ledge (2nd Floor) as seen when entering the building and the Astronomy classroom doors are visible from the entryway. All general meetings will commence one hour later at 7:30 pm on the first floor in the Teaching Teacher Auditorium next to the staircase.

The general meeting will cover club business and news in the first part with tonight’s presenter being the main part of the meeting. Food and Drinks will be provided and paid for by the club and all club members, guests, and visitors are welcome. Hopefully, many of our guest and visitors who live in the surrounding areas will consider joining our club!

Please go to this link for more information on Parking & Directions: Lone Star College Map

Novice Meeting

Speaker Mr. Justin J McCollum (Professor Comet)

(Bldg. Manager HMNS George Observatory & HNAC Webmaster)


‘An Introduction to ‘Night Sky’ Coordinates and the Mechanics of the Moon!’

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Whenever and where ever the Moon is located in its orbit about the Earth, the mechanics of its physical motion and tidal interactions with the Earth have helped shape Humanity’s perception of the ‘Night Sky’ and its Cosmological view of the Heavens. The introduction of celestial coordinates is the introduction to how Humans have mapped the Night Sky in the same manner as to how the Earth has been mapped. The application of coordinate systems such as ‘longitude and latitude’ for one’s position in space and time is also relevant for knowing how to observe and predict when celestial events will happen in the future using coordinates systems such as ‘declination and right ascension’. When applying coordinate systems with the mechanics of the Moon one can determine when the Moon rise and sets, how it is positioned with respect to stars and planets as observed from Earth, and how the tides affect our planet. The connection between these two subjects has played important roles in Humanity’s development in the Cosmological view of our Solar System and the Universe!

To Learn more on Celestial Coordinates (See the following links)

Celestial Coordinates (The Fundamentals)

Orion Telescopes (A Quick View on Sky Coordinates)

A More In-depth Approach to Sky Coordinates!

Univ. of Neb. – Lincoln (Simulation on Sky Coordinates)!

To Learn more about Lunar Mechanics (See the following links)

Timeandate.com (The Moon Causes the Tides!)

Hermit Eclipse: The Mechanics of Lunar Eclipses

The Nine Planets website: Lots of Details about the Moon!

General Meeting

Speaker: Dr. John Charles


Associate Manager for International Science

NASA Human Research Program

Human Health & Performance Directorate

Houston, TX 


“Updates to NASA Plan’s to Send People to Mars!”

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Dr. John Charles is a leading project scientist for Space & Life Sciences Directorate under the Human Health and Performance Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas. Dr. Charles has already served as a NASA Astronaut joining the Shuttle/Mir program for a total of 11 missions. Currently, he sees himself as part of the ongoing NASA team looking towards the future in the development of ‘Deep Space’ Human – crewed Space exploration along with the involvement of the strategical planning of dealing with the issues of ‘long – term’ Human Exploration. His talk will focus on the aspects, current situations, and reevaluations in the development of future Human exploration of Mars. Dr. Charles will provide updates on the current plans, concepts, and proposals for sending humans to Mars which NASA is currently targeting sometime in the mid to late 2030s. The issue is whether or not NASA based on projected budget forecasting will go at it alone or will it be an international project for sending humans to Mars either ‘one – way’ or a return journey!

To Learn more about Human on Mars (See the following links)

Here is more information on the Speaker and concepts of his presentation:

Dr. John Charles

Dr. Charles’s Website: AstroCryptoTriviology!

The Human Research Program

Human & Health Performance

For specific Information on potential Human Exploration of Mars:

NASA: Humans to Mars!

National Geographic (Difficulties of Sending Humans to Mars)

Explore Deep Space!