December, 2014

Volume XIV, Number 12

This coming Month's  events, and PLEASE NOTE the CHANGE in the MEETING DATE!


December 19 -- General Meeting, Kingwood College

January 2 -- Insperity Observatory Public Night

January 17 -- Star Party, O'Brien Dark Site

January 23-- General Meeting, Kingwood College


 2014 Remaining General Meeting Schedule

December 19 note: third Friday

Decembert 19, 2014

Novice Program

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

Dave Tomlin

Subject:  "Astronomical Thought Throughout History"

7:15 -- Potluck Dinner

in the Lecture Hall

General Meeting

 7:30 P.M., Kingwood College Lecture Hall

Dr. Aaron Burton, PhD.

Subject:  "Searching for Clues in Meteorites to Understand the Origins of Life"

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


 1.  This month we meet on the third Friday, December 19th.  Programs are on our usual schedule,  Novice at 6:30,  Eats at 7:15, and General Meeting at 7:30.  Eats will be brisket by NHAC with "pot-luck" sides and desserts by members.


2.  We have not had a door prize drawing for a couple months,  so trim some of your astronomical excess and bring your donation to this meeting.  We are planning a two level event.  Membership will arrange a select few of the donated prizes into a final grand selection.  Your one ticket will be good for both events -- a regular drawing and an end-of-year grand finale drawing.


3.  This meeting will be our annual Election of Officers.  We need as many members as possible to be at the meeting so the election can represent the views of as many members as possible.  If you are interested in filling any Officer position please let one of the Nominating Committee members know.  The Nominating Committee members are Aaron Clevenson, Bruce Pollard, and Dave Tomlin.


4.  The NHAC officers in 2014 have been:

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


Although there will probably be several Officers carried over, there will be a few new Officers.  The next Executive Board meeting will be on January 14.  Recent past meetings have been at the Kingwood YMCA, but that perhaps will change with a new slate of Officers.  Any member is welcome to attend the Executive Board Meetings.


5.  Our Astronomical League Coordinator is Jim Barbasso.  The Astronomical League website is

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


6.  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.

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

December 20, 2014

Moonset will be 4:33 P.M.Sunset will be 5:26 P.M.

For any who wish to observe on a night without a moon, the next day moonrise will be around 6:30 A.M.  It will be a really moonless night and should be good observing.

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

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.


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

2015 Public Night

January 2, 2015.


Sunset will be at 5:33  P.M.

Doors will open at 5:20 P.M. or so and remain open to the public until 10:00 P.M.


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 get to use, 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:


This is a busy time of the year for all of us.  I have nothing out of the ordinary to contribute this month except please come to the meeting this coming Friday to help select the new group of Officers.  Your vote might impact the direction taken by the Club in the coming year.


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.