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NHAC ‘Late Spring 2017’ Club Gathering!

Published May 23, 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: 26 May 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


Dr. Bruce Pollard (NHAC Vice President)


Spring Stars, Summer Clusters, and Convex Lens Physics

Part II

Image result for convex lens ray diagram

Image result for star clusters

This will be part II of Dr. Bruce Pollard’s presentation on the basic outline with the Physics and applications of the Convex lens and the properties it provides for telescopes to be effective instruments in the harnessing and optimal use of electromagnetic radiation (visible light) in order for Astronomers to have the capacity to observe celestial objects and structures. These objects and structures range in size from planets in our own solar system to clusters of galaxies spanning hundreds of millions of light years are so far away as to be beyond the resolution of the naked Human eye. This requires the use of the convex lens to concentrate and manipulate the rays of light propagating (passing) through the optics of a telescope to resolve these far away objects and structures to better observation and study!

This talk will apply the concept of the convex lens to observing the various deep sky objects (DSOs) currently or permanently residing in our celestial Spring Skies from the planet Jupiter to Galaxies! More time will be devoted to Part II on the principles of Convex lenses and their uses in optical instruments for studying the night sky!

To Learn more about Convex Lenses (See the following links)

The Physics Classroom!

Lens in Hyperphysics

Physics of Optics

YouTube (Ray Diagrams One)

YouTube (Ray Diagrams Two)

 To Learn more about the Spring Celestial Skies (See the following links)

Windows To the Universe!

Asterisms of the Spring Sky!

Asterisms of the Sky

Deep Sky Objects in Spring

General Meeting

Speaker: Dr. Patricia Craig

(Lunar & Planetary Institute)

Universities Space Research Association

Houston, TX 

Presentation: Mars: Are We There Yet?

Image result for Mars are we there yet

Displaying PCraig profile pic.jpg

Dr. Patricia Craig is a Professor of Space & Planetary Sciences who is currently staffed at the Lunar & Planetary Institute not far from the Johnson Space Center, NASA. Her work currently focuses on the geological history and morphology of Martain clay minerals. Her current collaboration on Martain exploration covers the CheMin Instrument on the Curiosity Mars Rover and the ARES Lab at NASA JSC. This presentation will cover the challenges, failures, possibilities, and achievements in the journey and exploration of the Red Planet for both robotic and future potential human exploration in the 21st century.

The exploration of Mars has been a history of failed missions, great achievements of first time and one-of-kind robotic missions, and unexpected discoveries. Any future exploration of Mars in the near term future will require the continuous operation and optimal use of robotic spacecraft from orbital vehicles to sub-surface landers.  Long term future will eventually lead to the possibility of human exploration of Mars and it’s natural satellites (Phobos & Deimos).

Learn more about the History of Martian Exploration (Links Below!)

Russian (Mars) Robotic Program

Russian/Soviet Mars Missions

Comprehensive NASA Mars Exploration Website!

Exploration of Mars by All Nations!

NASA’s Journey to Mars

ESA Mars Exploration Webpage

The Mars Society

Note: The contacts webpage has been changed to the Leadership webpage. It contains the list of our current 2017 Executive Board Members and Committee Chairs along with a link to Night Sky Network (NSN) in regards to our clubs outreach & education activities. One has to simply click on the NSN icon or image to go the Night Sky Network for latest on NHAC activities. Our physical (mailing) address is now on the leadership webpage. To get contact info on our board members and committee chairs there is a link on the leadership webpage titled Board Members & Chairs where you can get contact each member of our leadership via email. You can also go the following link to send personal emails to each of board members and chairs: Board Members & Chairs!

All email contacts are up-to-date!