October, 2014

Volume XIV, Number 10 

 This coming Month's  events:

October 18 -- Star Party and BarBeQue, O'Brien Dark Site

October 24 -- General Meeting, Kingwood College

November 7 -- All Clubs Meeting, Houston Museum of Natural History, Hermann Park

Also November 7 -- Insperity Observatory Public Night

November 8 -- Astronomy Day, George Observatory, Brazos Bend State Park

November 12 -- Executive Board Meeting, Kingwood YMCA

November 15 -- Star Party, O'Brien Dark Site

November 21 -- General Meeting, Kingwood College

 2014 Remaining General Meeting Schedule

October 24

November 21 note: third Friday

December 19 note: third Friday

October 24, 2014

Novice Program

 6:30 - 7:15pm in the Cosmic Forum, upstairs in the CLA building.


Fall Constellations and Deep Sky Objects


Dr. Bruce Pollard


General Meeting

7:30 P.M. in the CLA Teaching Theater

"The evolution of 'science' into a 'news story'."

by Dr. Renee James, Professor of Physics, Sam Houston State University

"What's Up Doc?" by Dr. Aaron Clevenson for the month of October will be posted on the NHAC Website.


1.  This month we have an opportunity to show off our North Houston Astronomy Club.

We are the host club for the All Clubs Meeting on November 7 to be held at the Houston Museum of Natural History in Hermann Park.  Dr. Aaron Clevenson is the Chairman.  He needs as many of us as can make it to come down to act as meeters and greeters, and to help with set up and tear down.

We should all wear our 2014 Aqua club shirts if we have one, or shirts from previous years, to help provide visibility for our club.  We need to be there no later than 6:45 to help set up for the meeting which starts at 7:30.

Following usual procedure for the All Clubs Meeting, there will be door prizes.  Aaron has said that he can provide appropriate receipts for any door prizes we donate.  Donating door prizes for this annual meeting will additionally help us with our exposure in the Astronomy Community. 


2.  The NHAC officers in 2014 are:

President--                              George Marsden

Vice-President--                       Desiree Carmona

Secretary--                              Susan Pollard

Treasurer--                              David Lambert

Newsletter Editor--                   Rusty Hill

Astronomical League Coord.--   James Barbasso

Webmaster--                           Jamie Martin

Observation Committee Chair-- James Billings

Membership Committee Chair-- Stuart Davenport

     Board Approved Co-Chair--  Joe Wagner

Program Committee Chair--      Todd Sullivan      

If you as a member would like to assist one of the officers or committee chairmen, I would like to invite you to help out with your ideas and participation.   If you have any questions for any of the officers, please ask.


3.  There is one remaining Executive Board meetings, on November 12.

Any and all members in good standing are welcome to attend any of the Executive Board meetings.


4.  Our Astronomical League Coordinator is Jim Barbasso.  The Astronomical League website is http://www.astroleague.org/

This website also features a section entitled "What's Up With The Astronomical League."


5.  Name Badges: For all members, please remember to pick up your Name Badge before the meeting, wear it, and return it after this meeting so you will still have a name tag at the next meeting.  We do not want any members to be nameless. 


6. We are approaching our annual election of Club Officers for the coming year.  The elections will be held during the December meeting, and we would like to have all nominations in hand by the November meeting.  Our Nominating Committee is composed of Aaron Clevenson, Bruce Pollard, and Dave Tomlin.  If you are interested in helping the club function by by performing one of the club functions, please let any of the Nominating Committee or club officers know.


7.  2015 General Meeting Schedule:

January 23

February 27

March 27

April 24

May 22

June 26

July 24

August 28

September 25

October 23

November 20

December 18


8. 2015 Executive Board Meeting Schedule:

January 14

March 11

May 13

July 8

September 9

November 11

Star Party and BBQ, October 18, 2014

Club Policy is that the focus of the Star Parties will be to give as much assistance as possible to new observers.

Sunset on October 18 will be at 6:48 PM. and by 7:30 the sky should be dark enough for viewing. October 23 will be the New Moon, so Saturday October 18 should be good for observing if the cloud cover permits.

For the Star Party itself, the plan continues to be for a number of the more experienced observers to attend each of the Star Parties, with telescopes.  We "novices" will know there is someone who is planning to be at the Star Party with equipment and the desire to share knowledge.

For those who may not have been to the O'Brien Dark Site, it is just north of Dobbin, which is on Highway 105 west of Montgomery.  It has reasonably dark skies, and a great low horizon in all directions.  The Owners, Tim and Wanda O'Brien are very generous hosts, and they do turn off any outside lights which might bother us, if we remember to ask.

The actual Dark Site location is password protected.  Any officer can give you the password, but it is NOT FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

On our NHAC web site, click on "Observing" then select "O'Brien Dark Site".  Scroll down to the O'Brien Dark Site information and look for the "detailed directions" link.  You will need to enter the password.  There are maps as well as directions.  It is well worth the drive, which is about 6 or 7 minutes after you leave Dobbin going north.

Star Parties are routinely scheduled for the Saturday on or just before the New Moon throughout the year.  This is to provide the best opportunity for dark skies.

Inclement weather, of course, can force Star Party cancellation or postponement.


 2014 Remaining Star Party Schedule

October 18-- BarBeQue

November 15

December 20


2015 Star Party Schedule


February 14  BBQ

March 21

April 18  BBQ

May 16

June 13

July 11

August 15

September 12  BBQ

October 10

November 7  BBQ

December 12

NHAC is a proud member of:

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

2014 Public Nights

November 7, 2014.  Sunset will be around 6:48 P.M.

Doors will open at 6:45 P.M. and remain open to the public until 10:00 P.M.

This Public Night conflicts with the All Clubs Meeting.  Dave Tomlin will be the host.  I know he would appreciate help from any of us who are not helping at the All Clubs Meeting.

The remaining 2014 Insperity Public night is projected to be December 5.


These Public Nights are a tremendous opportunity for us to be a part of Astronomy Outreach, and also to observe with scopes we might never see, otherwise.  The Observatory has a 16" and a 20" telescope, each computer controlled, which provide awesome views of the sky.  There are typically 30 or 40 guests at the Public Night, several repeating, who are very appreciative of the opportunity to expose their kids to Astronomy, and who enjoy the observing in their own experience, as well.  And then after all our guests have departed, several of us usually stay for a while and enjoy the views.  I (Rusty) have seen more detail on Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn from the Insperity Observatory than at any other time or place.


The Observatory is about 3/4 of a mile south of Will Clayton Parkway on S. Houston Ave, just north of Rankin Road in Humble, in the back part of the Humble Elementary School on the East side of S. Houston Ave.  For information, see the web site.


*Dates and times are subject to change.

The Insperity Observatory at Humble ISD, 2505 S. Houston Ave., Humble, TX 77396


Rusty's Ramblings

Hello, Everyone:


First, I would like to encourage everyone in the club to set aside the evening of November 7 to help out at either the All Clubs Meeting at the Houston Museum of Natural History or at the Insperity Public Night.  Please, folks, this our chance to give back.


Second, I have something different this month.  A movie about Stephen Hawkings is coming out on November 7.  It is entitled "The Theory of Everything."  Donna and I saw the preview this afternoon.  It looks accurate, and very well done.  We plan to see it as soon as we  can.

It is a feature movie intended for the general public, so it is not likely present any challenging Physics ideas, but it looks very interesting.


Clear Skies,


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 not-for-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

Discounts on Purchases at Land, Sea and Sky.  Be sure to identiry yourself as an NHAC member.

Loaner Telescopes after being a member for 6 months.

Opportunity to observe from Dark Sky Observing Sites.

Learn from Experienced Observers.

Astronomy Magazine subscriptions at a discount.

Membership in the Astronomical League, with multiple Observing Clubs available.

Included subscription to the Astronomical League magazine "Reflector".

Access to the NHAC Library

Observe - Learn - Share

The North Houston Astronomy Club is a not-for-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.