TAS January Meeting, January 24, 2020
The January General Meeting of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will be held In the Science Learning Center (SLC) auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Preceeding the meeting, at 7:00 p.m., will be the regular beginners talk.
Our January speaker will be Rob Pettengill, Ph.D., an engineer, astrophotographer, sidewalk astronomer, and volunteer astronomy educator from Austin, Texas.
Chile hosts both great observatory engines of astronomical discovery and spectacular conditions for amateur astronomy and astrophotography. The NSF funded Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP), gives a group of astronomy educators, planetarium personnel, and amateur astronomers back stage access to the great observatories in Chile. The 2019 trip included Gemini, AURA, and LSST at Cerro Pachón, two nights at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, and the ALMA Array Operations Site, and an overnight stay at the ALMA Operations Support Facility. We also sampled two of the over a hundred astro-tourist observatories in Chile and a bit of local culture
Rob will share the trip in images, with insights into the lives of the amazing American, European, Japanese, and Chilean astronomers and technicians that make the new discoveries possible.
As an engineer Rob’s research included microelectronics for blow flow meters at Stanford, a prototype of the first solid state insulin pump at Alza, digitized voice communications for NATO at Texas Instruments, CAD software at MCC, and web based knowledge management at Schlumberger. In retirement he’s returned to his first love, astronomy.
Now, Rob is a volunteer astronomy ambassador for the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program and the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors. He’s a sidewalk astronomer and astrophotographer. His BadAstroPhotos website focuses on astrophotography with small, ultra light equipment. Through his web site and social media his images, how-to guides, blogs, and posts have been seen by stargazers in over 170 countries, over two million times.
TAS Logo Sweatshirts
The Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas was chartered in 1955 to promote interest and research, and to give instruction in the science of astronomy and related disciplines. 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.
Please visit the Club Information section for more on TAS.
New members can download the New Members Handbook from the Members Only Section of the website.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:
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: January: Orion
TAS is now 600
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Sun, Moon, and Tonight's Sky
| Richardson, TX
(times in CST):
Sunrise today: 7:26am
Sunset today: 5:55pm
Moonrise today: 9:52am
Moonset today: 9:32pm
8% 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...