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
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: Tom Field, Founder of Field Tested Systems
Presentation: Amateur Spectroscopy
The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the art and science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device called a diffraction grating. Until recently, due to the specialized hardware and software required, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture ... or a big budget! With your current telescope and camera (i.e. a dedicated astronomy camera, simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard? This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in astronomical research. And, it will show you how to perform this activity yourself.
Tom Field is the founder of Field Tested Systems and is the author of the RSpec software (www.rspec-astro.com). Tom is also a Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope. Tom’s first article in the magazine appeared in August 2011 on the topic of spectroscopy. RSpec received their “Hot Product" award in 2012. Tom is a popular speaker who has spoken at many different venues, including NEAF, the NorthEast Astro-Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference,SCAE, and others. His enthusiastic style is lively and engaging. He promises to open the door for you to this fascinating field!
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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.
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: October: Cassiopeia and Cepheus
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: 7:35am
Sunset today: 6:49pm
Moonrise today: 5:29am
Moonset today: 5:36pm
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...
Clear Sky Clocks
Click an image for a complete sky condition forecast.
TAS In Action
Atoka Weather Station (Click to enlarge)