January, 2015

Volume XV, Number 1

This Month's  events

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

January 23 -- General Meeting, Kingwood College

Next Month's Events

February 6 -- Insperity Observatory Public Night

February 27-- General Meeting, Kingwood College


January 23, 2015

Novice Program

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


General Meeting

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

Dr. George Reite, PhD,Univ. of Houston

Subject: Lunar Solar Lunar Solar Power


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


 1.  At the turn of the year, we have had a rollover of our Club Officers.  With regrets, we tell George Marsden, Desiree Carmona, Jamie Martin, and Joe Wagner we will sure miss you.  You have each done a great job!

At the same time, we welcome Aaron Clevenson, Bruce Pollard, Dave Tomlin, and Justin McCollum as Club Officers on the Executive Board.  Aaron and Bruce are both returnees, and we are glad to have all 4 of you serving the Club in your respective capacities.

These are not honorary positions.  They each entail a good bit of work which benefits all club members.  Thank you, Guys and Gals!


3.  The NHAC officers for 2015 are:

President --                               Aaron Clevenson

Vice-President--                        Bruce Pollard

Secretary--                               Susan Pollard

Treasurer--                               David Lambert

Newsletter Editor--                    Rusty Hill

Astronomical League Coord.--    James Barbasso

Webmaster--                             Justin McCollum

Observation Committee Chair-- James Billings

Membership Committee Chair-- David Tomlin

 Board Approved Co-Chair--       Stuart Davenport

Program Committee Chair--       Todd Sullivan



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.

7.  2015 Remaining General Meeting Schedule:

February 27

March 27

April 24

May 22

June 26

July 24

August 28

September 25

October 23

November 20

December 18


8. 2015 Remaining Executive Board Meeting Schedule:

March 11

May 13

July 8

September 9

November 11

Star Party

January 17, 2015

Moonrise will be 4:16 A.M.

Sunset will be 5:45 P.M.

For any who wish to observe on a night without a moon, notice the Saturday night/Sunday morning moonrise is 4:16 A.M., give or take rounding errors.  It will be a really moonless night and should be good observing.  This is a really good opportuity to see the Comet Lovejoy near the Zenith not long after Sunset.  It will be visible until about 1:30 A.M.

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 club 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.

For planning, I am starting a practice of showing the information for the following month, due to the New Moon occurring a bit earlier each month, and the Star Parties being a week or two before the General Meeting.For February 14, there is a Star Party and combined Bar-Be-Que.  Sunset will be 6:11 P.M., and Moon Rise will not be until 3:00 A.M.



2015 Remaining Star Party Schedule

February 14  BBQ

March 14-- Messier

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:


Rusty's Ramblings is/are not going very far this month.  As most of you know, I am somewhat stove up, and loopy with meds.  I just do not have a lot of creativity in me at the moment.
I hope many of you will go out to the O'Brien Dark Site this evening.  It should be a rewarding evening.


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.