August 24, 2012

Novice Program

Sue Wheatley

"Using Red Stars and Double Stars To Improve Your Observations"  
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

Bill Pellerin, HAS

"Amateur Astronomy - Real Science"

NHAC is a proud member of:

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

        Astronomical League         Night Sky Network     International Dark-sky




NHAC's Mary Moore presented the most wonderful history of space missions to Mars from Earth at the July general meeting. In addition to learning about the numerous previous attempts made by various space organizations to land on or orbit the Red Planet (with only a 41% overall success rate), Mary provided a wealth of in-depth information about the Curiosity rover that recently, (successfully!,) landed in Gale Crater. She truly made watching the landing so much more enjoyable because we were able to understand and appreciate what we seeing a little more profoundly. And also because, Mary totally rocks. Thank you Mary!

Blue Moon Lunar Observing at Insperity - Saturday August 25th

Come work on your Lunar Certification for the AL.  Come gaze at the Moon through the telescopes at the Insperity Observatory.  Come and socialize with your fellow astronomy enthusiasts.  The Sun sets at 7:49 PM on Saturday, August 25, 2012.  The Moon sets at 12:50 AM and is 67% illuminated.  We will be open from sunset until we have seen all that we want to see.  And to make it all convenient - this is local.  The observatory is located at 2505 S. Houston Avenue in Humble, just East of Houston Intercontinental Airport, in the parking lot at Jack Fields Elementary School.  Our website is and in case you need directions that evening, the observatory's phone number is 281-641-STAR (7827).  See you there.


T-Shirts are here!!

They will be available for purhase at the general meeting TODAY. $15 each for sizes S - 2XL. (larger sizes may be made available at an additional cost)


Mars Science Lander Curiosity Party

At 10 PM on August 5th Insperity Observatory hosted a party for people that wanted to gather and watch the Mars Curiosity rover land on Mars. We had a lot of fun gearing up as we watched a Google+ Curiosity Landing Hangout, and saw many cool interviews with various members of the NASA crew before we settled in on the fabulous NASAtv stream on the *big* screen for the *big* moment. We were thrilled when it came and had our own little version of nerdy high fiving and celebration. Thank you, Aaron! (oh yes, and of course, we also had peanuts.)


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.


Welcome New Members!

  • Glendon Dunnack and family
  • Patrick Hobson Andrew Johnson and family  
  • Special Welcome to Tim and Wanda O'Brien

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 before the next meeting so that he can reserve a spot for your presentation. 

NASA Lands Car-Size Rover Beside Martian Mountain

Date: 6 August 2012

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.


For more information on the mission, visit: and .

Follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at:
And .


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: (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

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


2012 Public Nights*

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.