Here are the Session Notes of our online meetings. Those that did not attend or joined
after the meeting occurred should find this info very helpful. PDF
1 - July 22, 2020
Getting Started in Observing
2 - August 19, 2020
Star Hopping and Using Star Charts
3 - September 16, 2020
How to Buy a Telescope
Ghost Hunt Challenge 2020
Welcome to TAS Observing Special Interest Group
Is it time to start a new special interest group? We think so!
Announcing ObSIG or the Observing Special Interest Group for TAS Dallas.
If your biggest interest in astronomy lies with getting to see interesting
objects through a telescope (particularly through your own telescope) then
this is the group for you. We intend to create a greater interest in visual
observing and hold monthly meetings to discuss our most interesting finds.
Once the new group comes together we can decide on which area to concentrate
our attention for the upcoming month. Perhaps, we will tackle Dennis and Chaz’s
monthly list or look for objects on one of the many Astronomical League Observing
programs. Then there are meteor showers, conjunctions of planets, space station
sightings and many other things that the members would find exciting and bring
into the discussion. Of course during the COVID 19 virus, our meetings will
have to be held on line, perhaps on Zoom or Facebook.
…and don’t forget to record what you see. Just because we are
having trouble with the virus does not mean you have to give up the hobby you
love. The Atoka dark site is open under certain restrictions, so contact TAS
secretary Frank Costanho for these details. But… you don’t have
drive a hundred miles just to have fun under the stars. We are trying to find
a darker place to observe closer to the city that will be safe and easily accessible.
And if you do want to observe form your back yard or neighborhood park let
me point out several exciting programs that you can follow right here in the
- The Lunar Program: one of the simplest and most fun programs provided
by the Astronomical League. The moon makes trouble for deep sky observers
about half of every month, so why not learn basics about its craters, mares
Our guests at the public star parties will love the knowledge you learn
that you can share with them.
- Double Stars: most all of them can be separated with a four-inch
scope from right in the city. I found this program to be relaxing and many
stars have some very beautiful colors. Also, there are programs for both
telescope and binoculars.
- Urban Observing Program: just like it sounds, must be done from
the city and suburbs. TAS member John Wagoner created it and several of our
members have completed it. This would be a good one for experienced people
who are looking for a challenge under city lights.
- Sunspotters Observing Program: I mean the sun is up every day and
you don’t have to go anywhere special to see it. Of course, you need
special filters/telescopes to see it safely. Do follow all safety rules.
The program includes following the development and life cycle of sunspots
ask for some sketching of what you see. The notes that I saw presented by
TAS member John Dorio were fascinating.
Be on the lookout for news about ObSIG and keep looking up. Have fun. Clear
skies to all.
If you would like to attend an online ObSIG meeting, send an e-Mail to:
Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
6001 Frontier Ln. Plano, TX