NHAC ‘2018 Mid Autumnal’ Gathering!

JamiePublished October 22, 2018 by Jamie

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
(NHAC Vice President)


Star Clusters from Birth to Termination

Image result for star clusters

Dr. Bruce Pollard will give a novice presentation on the two types of star clusters that exist on our Universe: Open and Globular. These star clusters are the result of enormous celestial clouds of Hydrogen, Helium, and interstellar dust contains smaller amounts of heavier elements and compounds that undergo the effects of gravitational collapse, frictional effects that generate heat, and nuclear fusion. All stars are born not as individual spheres of magnetized plasma encasing thermonuclear reactors; stars are born into families. These families form either within a Galaxy (open star clusters) or form as chucks or islands of dust and gas that have separated from a forming galaxy to create islands of very old stars (globular star clusters) that exist within the surrounding realm known as a galactic halo.

This presentation will deal with the comparing and contrasting of open to globular star clusters. All information in this presentation will cover areas of stellar and cluster formation, classification of different types of open and globular star clusters, classification of stars with these clusters, and the longevity and final conclusion to their physical existence. Techniques and methods for finding these clusters and how to observe them with the appropriate astronomical equipment will be addressed in the novice presentation.

Learn more from the following References

The Nature of Star Clusters

Globular Star Clusters

Open Star Clusters

Trumpler System (Classification of Open Star Clusters)

Shapley – Sawyer System (Classification of Globular Star Clusters)

Star Formation in Clusters

Place: Lone Star College – Montgomery Campus

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

Time: (7:30 – 10:00) PM

Speaker (via Webcast): Dr. Holly Gilbert, Ph. D.
(Chief of the of the Solar Physics Laboratory in the Heliophysics Science Division)
(NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)


Touching the Sun- a new age for solar science

Image result for parker solar probe

Our home in space is embedded in the Sun’s extended atmosphere, subjecting the space environment around Earth to dynamic activity that originates in the solar corona. This layer of the solar atmosphere holds many unsolved mysteries that have fascinated humans for ages. Well into the space age we continue to search for answers, and NASA has a fleet of spacecraft dedicated to studying heliophysics: the Sun and its domain- the heliosphere, including its effects on Earth. Although we currently have a wealth of data and sophisticated modeling that has advanced our understanding of the Sun-Earth system over the last several decades, we are entering into one of the most exciting eras of heliophysics observations. Parker Solar Probe, which is on its way to fly within four million miles of the solar surface, and Solar Orbiter are two synergistic space missions being developed to study the solar corona from a unique viewpoint. I will discuss the importance of obtaining data so close to the Sun and its implications for space weather research and forecasting.

Dr. Holly Gilbert is chief of the Solar Physics Laboratory for the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (Greenbelt, Maryland). The Goddard Spaceflight Center is a major space science research facility named in honor of Dr. Robert Goddard an Amercian pioneer in the early decades of rocketry. It is the largest organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the observations and study of the Sun, Planets, the Solar System and the whole Universe using a collection of scientific experiments, robotic space vehicles, and engineering programs from space.

Learn more from the following References

Biography of Dr. Holly Gilbert

Science of Heliophysics

Heliophysics @ NASA

Advanced Heliophysics (John Hopkins Unversity)


Predicting Space Weather w/ NOAA

NASA at the Sun!

Parker Solar Probe