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
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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 here. Back issues are available under "Features->Spectrum Newsletter" in the main menu.
General Membership Meeting
We will be in our usual meeting room at UTD, the Science Learning 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: Dr. Lindsay King, Associate Professor, UTD
Topic: Galaxy Clusters: Properties and Observations
Galaxy clusters are the most massive bound structures in the universe, sometimes containing ~1000 galaxies, and with about 85% of their matter being dark. Their mass distributions contain strong imprints of our cosmological model, the properties of dark matter and structure formation history.
We will start with an overview of observations and properties of galaxy clusters, and discuss some of the tools that we are using to study them. In particular, weak and strong gravitational lensing are great tools to map their mass - even their dark matter. We will also talk about the implications of cluster merger systems, where massive clusters have violently collided, for dark matter and cosmology. There are less than 10 systems that are ideal for these studies and we are fortunate to have a multi-wavelength observational program, augmented by computer simulations, to investigate a unique case which will be described.
Dr. King was brought up in County Antrim in the north of Ireland, and moved "across the water" for her undergraduate degree at Cambridge University, majoring in physics and theoretical physics. Dr.King earned her PhD in astrophysics at Manchester University, living with a view of Jodrell Bank observatory.
She did her post-docs at Notre Dame and in Germany, then she was a Royal Society university research fellow for 8 years, then she went back to Cambridge University. She came to join the UTD faculty in November 2011. Her research interests are in observational and theoretical topics in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology, in particular developing tools to analyse astrophysical data with a view to learning about dark matter.
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.
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: April: Hydra Region
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 CDT):
Sunrise today: 6:50am
Sunset today: 8:03pm
Moonrise today: 3:01am
Moonset today: 2:31pm
42% 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)