General Membership Meeting
We will be in our usual meeting room at UTD,the ScienceLearning Center (SLC), room# SLC.1.102. Here's a map. Only park in lots H, I, or J. Parking anywhere else on campus could result in a ticket.
Speaker: Dave Rowe
Presentation: The Pursuit of the Perfect Telescope
Master telescope designer Dave Rowe will present a program on his pursuit of the perfect telescope.
Rowe graduated in 1977 (Magna Cum Laude) with degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Bowling Green State University. He was awarded the honor of top senior in Physics and Mathematics. He then spent 3 years at Caltech studying Astronomy and Astrophysics as a graduate student. During this time he developed a high-energy X-ray detector for a space-based X-ray telescope.
In 1986, Dave founded Sierra Monolithics, Inc. with two partners. The company had many research programs with the US Government and private companies. In 1999, under Dave’s engineering direction, SMI developed a set of integrated circuits for ultra-high speed fiber optic connectivity. Today, if you send an email anywhere in the world, the data is likely to pass through at least one of these circuits. SMI was sold to Semtech, Inc. in 2009 and Dave retired in 2011.
In 2012, Dave joined PlaneWave Instruments as a partner and CTO, where he is actively engaged in the design of new telescopes, mounts, and software. He was the original optical designer of PlaneWave’s CDK line of telescopes, and the engineer responsible for the very successful CDK700 alt-az telescope that utilizes direct drive motor technology.
Most recently, Dave worked closely with the Celestron engineers in the development of the StarSense technology designed several new telescope systems including Celestron's Rowe-Ackerman Schmidt Astrograph that bears his name.
Dave has written many freeware programs for the amateur astronomy and telescope making community including TraceXP, a simple optical simulation program; FigureXP, a popular Foucault analysis program; FringeXP, a program for the analysis of interferograms; PointXP, a high accuracy telescope mount modelling application, and PlateSolve3, an all-sky plate solver. His current interests lie in the software reduction of Speckle Interferometry images of double stars, the design of high-etendue optical systems.
The Texas Astronomical Society was chartered in 1955 to promote the study of astronomy and related fields and to pursue observation and construction of instruments as a hobby. Membership is open to anyone having an interest in astronomy and related subjects and includes benefits such as a our monthly newsletter, discounts to the top astronomy magazines, access to our dark sky observing site and many more.
Our annual membership dues are very reasonable and can be paid on-line using the PayPal link listed below. Membership is open to anyone having an interest in Astronomy and the night sky.Follow @TASObserve
We invite you to further explore our website for more information and hope you consider becoming a member of our Society. TAS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, donations to which would be tax deductable for U.S. taxpayers under IRS rules. Donations may be given by using our secure PayPal site and indicating "donation" on the form.
Thank you for your gracious support of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas.
The latest issue of our award-winning monthly newsletter, the Spectrum, can be downloaded below.
Back issues are available under "Features->Spectrum Newsletter" in the main menu.
TAS Recurring Star Parties
TAS holds 4 regular monthly Star Parties where our members get together to observe and educate about the night sky. Come join us to look at planets, stars, and other celestial wonders. The monthly Star Party schedule is as follows:
For more information about TAS public observing please visit our Public Observing Site. Our full schedule of activities is on our calendar. Please come out and join us or volunteer at one of our events.Please call the Public Observing Hot Line at 214-800-6000 for the latest cancellation information.
Visit the members' discussion forum to discuss astro-type stuff with fellow TAS members.
Visit the Members Only section for access to:
Constellation of the Month: February: Canis Major and Puppis
TAS is now 503
members strong....why not become a part of our family?
TAS is a member of
The World's Largest Federation of Amateur Astronomers Three column web layout courtesy of Matthew James Taylor
Sun, Moon, and Tonight's Sky
| Richardson, TX
(times in CST):
Sunrise today: 7:13am
Sunset today: 6:11pm
Moonrise today: 11:23am
Moonset today: 12:01am
35% of moon illuminated
Click the above image for a chart. Popup blockers must be disabled. Chart courtesy of Fourmilab Switzerland.
| Major Planets and Moon Charts
Bright Minor Planet Charts
Observable Comet Charts
Magnitudes observed within the last 5 days:
Minor planet and comet lists, and corresponding orbital elements, are courtesy of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Charts courtesy of Fourmilab Switzerland
Special Interest Groups
APSIG (Astrophotography Special Interest Group) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, Texas.
APSIG meets once a month to share information and learn more about the art and science of Astrophotography -- taking photographs of objects in the night sky such as planets, galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Imaging these celestial objects requires special techniques and equipment, but are attainable by anyone willing to point their camera skyward. Come learn how! For more information on APSIG just follow this link...
ATMSIG (Amateur Telescope Makers Special Interest Group) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, Texas.
The ATMSIG meets every other month to explore the design, construction and adjustment of both do it yourself and professionally built telescopes. Anyone interested in building their first scope will find this group a big help in finding the best place to start. You don’t need to have a well equipped workshop, just a few simple tools and an interest in building or modifying it yourself. The ATMSIG is a wonderful place to see projects built locally by TAS members and to share new ideas for the future! For more information, just follow this link...
Clear Sky Clocks
Click an image for a complete sky condition forecast.
TAS In Action
Atoka Weather Station (Click to enlarge)