TAS Virtual General Meeting on Zoom
TAS Virtual General Meeting on Zoom
How to Attend the TAS Virtual General Meeting on Zoom
Friday, April 23, 2021 @ 7:30 pm CDT
The General Meeting of the Texas Astronomical Society is held on the fourth Friday of each month, except November. No meeting is held in December.
Members in good standing of the 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:
President's Letter - April 2021
Dear Fellow TAS Members,
In the Sky As amateur astronomers, many of us look forward to spring, or as we like to call it, Galaxy Season. After months of nights too cold or too cloudy to enjoy our hobby, we begin to dust off equipment and dream of nights spent at the eyepiece, straining to see the details of the Whirlpool, the Pinwheel, or the Sombrero. For planetary enthusiasts, May will be the time to catch up with Mercury. Step outside on the evening of May 3rd at twilight and look to the west-northwest to see a bright Mercury chasing the Pleiades across the sky. Then on May 12th just after sunset the barely-there crescent Moon will steal the show by passing closer to Venus than at any other time this year. They’ll be low in the sky, so pick a spot with a low west-northwest horizon and don’t be late. Mark your calendar and have your binoculars handy!
Atoka TAS volunteers have been hard at work to get the Atoka dark site ready for spring and summer. More than twenty TAS members volunteered at Atoka during two workdays in late March. Led by Glenn Fitzgerald, volunteers brought rakes, shovels, and painting equipment and helped to repair the damage done in December by the feral hogs. They cleaned and painted the picnic area and made repairs to the plumbing in the World Class Outhouse. We still have work to do, and as it turns out, we have had to hire someone to complete the leveling of the field, but it’s important for safety reasons that the field be somewhat even.
A side benefit of the workdays was that several new members got to make their first trip to Atoka. It’s always good to go in the daytime and get the lay of the land. Being able to meet new members and see old friends after months of relative isolation was a very welcome relief! Thank you to all who came and helped. Many of our members are unable to volunteer at Atoka right now due to health issues or work and family commitments, and we certainly understand. We remember and appreciate everything you’ve done already.
Bunks The board and the membership have approved a project to raise the funds needed to purchase bunks for the new bunkhouse. We will use $3,200 in funds that were previously earmarked for bunks and raise funds for the remainder. I have asked Gary Carter to select a committee to develop a campaign to raise the funds, select and order the bunks, and oversee the installation of the bunks. You can donate through the TAS website, and please indicate that your donation is for the bunks, or contact Gary.
Covid The board is continuing to closely watch guidance coming from the CDC to tell us when it is safe to re-open the closed buildings at Atoka and resume in-person meetings and star parties. Until then, we continue using Zoom for our board meetings, general membership meetings and special interest meetings. It hasn’t slowed us down as we continue to have excellent membership engagement on all fronts.
April General Meeting At the March General Meeting we were privileged to hear Michael Gorton tell us about his Back to Space project in Jacksboro, Texas. Thank you, Richard Brown, for arranging to have Michael speak to us.
The April meeting will be held on Friday, April 23 at 7:30 pm on Zoom, and our featured speaker will be Dr. Erin MacDonald, astrophysicist, aerospace engineer and science fiction consultant. This is one not to be missed!
Atoka Visits Remember to register your Atoka visits in the membership portal on the TAS website before you go. The gate code was recently changed, and you can get the new code on the portal as well.
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 CDT):
Sunrise today: 6:57am
Sunset today: 7:58pm
Moonrise today: 10:25am
Moonset today: 12:22am
20% 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
Click an image for a complete sky condition forecast.
TAS In Action
Donate to TAS
Atoka Weather Station
TAS Recurring Star Parties
Please call the Public Observing Hot Line for the latest star party information and any notices of cancellations.
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.
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
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.