June 22, 2012

Novice Program

Bruce Pollard

"Lunar Observing -- Part II"  
6:30 - 7:15pm in the Cosmic Forum, upstairs in the CLA building

Main Presentation

Beginning at 7:30pm in the building CLA Teaching Theater,
featuring: NHAC news and announcements
What’s Up Doc?” by Aaron Clevenson

Featured Speaker

Fred Garcia

from Land Sea and Sky

NHAC is a proud member of:

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

        Astronomical League         Night Sky Network     International Dark-sky




Lorrie Patel gave a fun presentation at the May general meeting that took us through the history of astronomy to recognize and learn about some of our greatest astronomers. Thank you Lorrie!


New NHAC  T-Shirts: We Need Your Feedback!

The new NHAC shirts are almost ready, and we need your feedback to help us complete the order. If you would be interested in purchasing any t-shirts in sizes 3X or 4X for an additional $4 (regular price, sizes S - 2X = $15), please email me and let me know how many you would like.  You can also let me know at the meeting!


SAVE THE DATE! July 14th BBQ at O'Brien Dark Site!

Join us on July 14th for another one of our fun, food-filled, observation gatherings at the O'Brien dark site! As usual, burgers and hot dogs will be available, and we encourage you to bring a side or dessert. FUN TIMES! 


Upcoming Lunar Observing Sessions

   July 28th at the O'Brien dark site.

   August 25th at Insperity observatory.

Drinks & snacks will be provided.


Refreshment Committee Chairperson Needed!

Have you been thinking about getting more involved with the club, but weren’t quite sure what to do? Well, this would be a great way to help out! We are looking for someone to be in charge of the meeting refreshments each month. Your job would be to see that the refreshments are ordered, picked up and  delivered to the meeting each month. They would need to be set up prior to the meeting and taken down after the meeting. You would also need to see that all of the necessary utensils were kept on hand.

Special Club Rate Magazine Subscriptions

Club rates for personal subscriptions to ASTRONOMY and SKY & TELESCOPE magazines save about 25% over the normal subscription costs. Each magazine has its own procedure to subscribe based upon initiating the order through the club treasurer.
For ASTRONOMY magazine, write your check to NHAC (or pay in cash) for $34 (or $60 for 2 years). The Treasurer then validates your membership by writing a club check for the same amount to the magazine and sending them your address. Renewals must also be processed through the club. Please save your renewal documents for this process.
For SKY & TELESCOPE, pay the club $33 (or $32.95 if by check). As above, we write a club check to validate your membership and start your subscription. SKY & TELESCOPE renewals are processed directly by the subscriber.
Be sure to include a clearly printed name and address sheet for any new subscriptions.


Got a Favorite Piece of Equipment?

If you have a favorite piece of equipment, a novel way of solving a problem, or a shortcut for making observing easier, bring it to the monthly meeting for the “Show-And-Tell” segment. Each presentation should take about 3 - 5 minutes and all ideas are welcome. Please submit your idea to Program Committee Chair, at program@astronomyclub.org before the next meeting so that he can reserve a spot for your presentation. 

Planetrise: An artist's conception shows Kepler-36c as it might look from the surface of neighboring Kepler-36b.
Image credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar


Astronomers Discover Planetary Odd Couple

Astronomers have discovered a pair of neighboring planets with dissimilar densities orbiting very close to each other. The planets are too close to their star to be in the so-called "habitable zone," the region in a system where liquid water might exist on the surface, but they have the closest-spaced orbits ever confirmed. The findings are published today in the journal Science.


O’Brien Observing Site

Have you been to O’Brien site yet? This is a great site that is available to NHAC members. It has open fields with a treed horizon in all directions at 5 degrees and is located in Montgomery, Texas (heading west on Highway 105).
If you would like to use this site in the future, please read the use policy on the NHAC web page (click on the “Star Party!” link from the Home page), and please follow this process:
Tim and Wanda O’Brien and their family are our hosts. They are on Netslyder, the email list server.
To request use of the site, send an email out on Netslyder to: NHAC@mail.netslyder.net (you must already be a member of the Netslyder mailing list).
Requests must be made more than 24 hours in advance.
Wanda or Tim will reply on Netslyder to let you know it is ok.
Other members are welcome to also attend that night. Once approved, another request is not necessary at that point.
The site is open to members and their guests (only when the member is present).


White Eagle Lodge (WEL)

The White Eagle Lodge is a private church retreat in Montgomery, TX. It has an open field with dark western and northern skies, although the east does suffer from light pollution. The north and east have good low horizons, while the west and southwest are somewhat obstructed by trees.
Other notes and and the procedure for reserving a night in addition to the regular monthly NHAC star parties may be found here. The property owners (St. John’s Retreat Center) request that all users sign a Release of Liability Waiver.

Additional information and Directions are available online at astronomyclub.org.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Kramer or James Billings at


2012 Public Nights*

July 6, 2012 @ 8:30 p.m.
August 3, 2012 @ 8:15 p.m.
September 7, 2012 @ 7:30 p.m.
October 5, 2012 @ 7:00 p.m.
November 2, 2012 @ 5:30 p.m.
December 7, 2012 @ 5:30 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.

The Insperity Observatory at Humble ISD, 2505 S. Houston Ave., Humble, TX 77396 281-641-STAR


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 non-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
  • Loaner telescopes
  • Borrow from the NHAC “Library”
  • Observe from Dark Sky Observing Sites
  • Learn from experienced amateur astronomers
  • Share your knowledge at club hosted picnics and star parties
  • Discount magazine subscriptions (contact our Treasurer)
  • Includes membership in the Astronomical League
  • The quarterly Astronomical League magazine “Reflector”
  • Eligibility for NHAC Executive Board

Observe - Learn - Share

The North Houston Astronomy Club is a non-profit organization sponsored by Lone Star College-Kingwood, dedicated to increasing the awareness and knowledge of the science of astronomy. Public meetings are held each month on the fourth Friday.