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. Eilene Theilig, Project Manager, Galileo Mission
Presentation: Galileo mission to Jupiter
The Galileo mission was designed to study the Jupiter system. It consisted of both a probe that studied the upper atmosphere and an orbiting spacecraft equipped with 12 instruments on it to study Jupiter, its moons, its rings and its magnetosphere.
Results from Galileo including the discovery of the potential for liquid water on Europa and the discovery of a type of lava flows on Io that haven't occurred on Earth for a billion years or so.
After arriving on December 7, 1995 and completing 35 orbits around Jupiter throughout a nearly eight-year mission, the Galileo Orbiter was destroyed during a controlled impact with Jupiter on September 21, 2003. During that intervening time, Galileo forever changed the way scientists saw Jupiter and provided a wealth of information on the moons orbiting the planet which will be studied for years to come.
A native of Houston, Eilene Theilig studied geology at the University of Texas, Austin, partly because of the appeal of outdoor fieldwork. Two of her professors were involved in NASA projects studying the Moon and Mars, so before graduating in 1976, she was already participating in research about channels on Mars. That summer, through a NASA-sponsored internship, she was at JPL assisting the Viking imaging team when the Viking 1 lander set down on Mars. She directed herself toward a career in solar system exploration by earning a Ph.D. in geology with a concentration in planetary studies from Arizona State University, Tempe, in 1986. She returned to JPL in 1987 as a National Research Council associate, investigating lava flows on Earth to aid interpretation of the NASA Magellan spacecraft's radar imaging of lava flows on Venus. Seeking more active participation in mission operations, Theilig joined the Galileo project seven months before the spacecraft was launched in 1989.
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: July: The Cygnus 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: 6:33am
Sunset today: 8:34pm
Moonrise today: 3:06am
Moonset today: 5:13pm
21% 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)