TAS Virtual General Meeting on Zoom
NOTE: The November General Meeting will be held on the third Friday this month due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Guest Speaker Presentation:
Dr. Richard Olenick, Professor of Physics at the University of Dallas, and Arthur Sweeney, adjunct instructor in the physics department of the University of Dallas
Dr. Richard Olenick and Arthur Sweeney, Physics Department, University of Dallas
From Ground to Space Telescopes, Exoplanets to Cataclysmic Variables.
TOPIC: The exoplanet search project at the University of Dallas and findings from that ongoing work and Kepler satellite data will be discussed. In addition, they will speak on the development of the new Swenson Observatory for Astrophysical Research in Throckmorton and the implementation of robotic telescopes there. The presentation seeks to encourage amateur observers of all levels of expertise to search for planets, follow-up on possible candidates, and to analyze data.
BIO: Dr. Richard Olenick is Professor of Physics at the University of Dallas, where he teaches astronomy and astrophysics as well as advanced physics courses. His research interests lie in exoplanet searches and binary star evolution. He has been a Guest Observer for the Kepler space telescope. He was also named Texas Professor of the Year, is a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor, and has supervised over fifty undergraduate theses in physics.
Arthur Sweeney is an adjunct instructor in the physics department of the University of Dallas. Mr. Sweeney is a retired instrument engineer/scientist. His research interests are in instrument development and exoplanet searches. He is also the founder of A. F. Sweeney & Associates, a real-time computer systems consulting company.
TAS Annual Awards Event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, December 5 at 7:00 pm.
TAS General Meeting Agenda - November 20, 2020
Online Virtual Meeting via ZOOM
The November General Meeting of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will be an online virtual meeting via ZOOM. The meeting will begin at 7:30 pm. CDT.
NOTE: The November General Meeting will be held on November 20, the third Friday this month, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Members in good standing of Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will receive an email notification containing information about how to join the virtual meeting.
|Zoom open for Q&A|
| Meeting called to order
Opening remarks from the President
Guest Speaker Introduction by Vice President
Guest Speaker Presentation
|TAS Business Meeting|
|Constellation of the Month|
|Adjourn to BAMSIG|
TAS MEMBERS: TAS sends out ZOOM meeting notifications and links via Constant Contact. If you are not receiving our e-mail:
Dear Fellow TAS Members,
Autumn is in full swing, and we’re enjoying good weather and sky conditions for observing and astrophotography. In mid-October we were treated to a close approach of Mars when its orbit was 38 million miles from Earth. Combined with the planet being at opposition and North Texas experiencing several nights of clear skies, it made for the best time to observe and photograph Mars for the next fifteen years. I hope you were able to get out and enjoy it.
Your new Board of Directors have been busy settling into their new duties to conduct the business of TAS. We’re discussing improvements to facilities at the dark site, including maintenance such as painting and repairs to pad electrical boxes.
Please note that the water at the Atoka dark site has been turned off for the winter. If you are planning a trip to Atoka, remember to bring any water you need. Making sure the water is turned off so our pipes don’t freeze is just one of many things Glenn Fitzgerald takes care of at Atoka. The dark site has been looking great and it’s always great to see members enjoying our dark skies.
Please remember to register on the website before going to Atoka. This will give you the new gate code and lets us know who has been to the dark site in case of a need for contact tracing. The Covid-19 virus is surging again, and TAS is continuing to require members to register on the website before going to Atoka. Please read the waiver and the requirements for mask wearing, social distancing, sanitizing, removing trash, etc. We operate TAS on a volunteer basis and we are each responsible for leaving the site better than we found it. Thank you for your cooperation.
At the October General Meeting we were treated to a talk by leading author and astronomer David Eicher. Dave gave us a visual tour of the various types of galaxies in the universe using photographs from his new book, Galaxies: Inside the Universe’s Star Cities.
The November General Meeting will be held on the third Friday of the month due to the Thanksgiving holiday, so mark your calendar for Friday, November 20 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Richard Olenick, Professor of Physics at the University of Dallas, and Arthur Sweeney, adjunct instructor in the physics department of the University of Dallas, will speak at the November 20 meeting.
The TAS Annual Awards Event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, December 5 at 7:00 pm. Even though we can’t get together in person, we look forward to a fun, social event with our fellow TAS members. Please email your award nominations at President@TexasAstro.org.
Finally, I encourage you to take advantage of the Special Interest Groups of TAS, currently meeting on Zoom. If you’re interested in astrophotography but need to learn about cameras, software, filters, telescopes, mounts, etc., check out the Beginner’s APSIG. If you have some experience in AP but want to kick it up a notch, the regular APSIG group can help with that. If you’re new to the hobby of astronomy, you might enjoy the ObSIG for observing. This group covers topics like how to observe, what equipment to buy depending on your interest, etc. TAS also has a special interest group for Ham radio operators, HAMSIG, and one for science, SciSIG. Contact information on all of these groups can be found in the Spectrum.
Thank You and Clear Skies!
Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
TAS Short Sleeve Logo T-shirts
Three column web layout courtesy of Matthew James Taylor
Sun, Moon, and Tonight's Sky
| Richardson, TX
(times in CST):
Sunrise today: 7:10am
Sunset today: 5:21pm
Moonrise today: 4:31pm
Moonset today: 5:28am
94% 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...
ObSIG (Observing Special Interest Group) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, Texas. ObSIG meets once a month to promote astronomical observing with telescopes, binoculars, and naked eye. We are also here to help new comers to the hobby of amateur astronomy to get started, learn the sky, and get help picking out the right equipment. For more information on ObSIG, follow this link.
Our meetings are held online via ZOOM, on the third Wednesday of each month. All ObSIG meetings start at 7:00.
ObSIG Meeting Schedule
If you would like to attend an online ObSIG meeting, send an e-Mail to:
Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
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...
Please Note: ATMSIG is currently inactive.
Clear Sky Clocks
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TAS In Action
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Atoka Weather Station
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: November: Andromeda & Perseus
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.