Why do we have Time displayed on our website? When you are observing in astronomy the exact time is very important. This time is from the US Bureau of Standards.
The Public Night is the first Friday of the Month
Our public viewing nights are the first Friday of each month from sunset to 10 pm. We look forward to seeing you at the next public viewing night. Please refer to our Observatory Calendar for specific times when we are open.
The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017
August 21, 2017 will be the date of the next Solar Eclipse. The United States will be treated to this rare event. It is being called the Great American Solar Eclipse because the path of totality in only passing through the United States. Sadly the path will not pass very near the Observatory. We will only be able to see a 67% Eclipse.
Path of the Eclipse Maximum Eclipse at the Observatory
The Insperity Observatory will be open for the eclipse and we will be using our Solar Telescopes and will have Eclipse Glasses available for all participants. The Partial Solar Eclipse will begin at the Observatory at 11:46 AM. Maximum Eclipse will be at 1:16 PM and it will end at 2:45 PM on Monday, August 21, 2017. We hope you can join us.
For those of you who are lucky enough to be travelling to the path of totality, there is a Solar Eclipse Checklist available here. There is also an information sheet for this eclipse located here.
My favorite site to use an interactive eclipse map is:
WARNING: Never look at the Sun without proper protection for your eyes. The only safe time to look at an eclipse is during totality. Since we will not see totality at the Observatory, there will be no safe time during the eclipse. Infrared radiation from the sun can burn and permanently damage the retina in your eyes. You may pick up a pair of safe eclipse glasses at the Observatory on Public Night on August 4, 2017 or during the Eclipse event. This is the only inexpensive and easily available option for looking at the Sun. Solar filters filter out 99.999% of the sun's light.
Another option is to use pin-hole projection. Do NOT look at the Sun through the pin-hole.You will need two sheets of poster board. make a pin-hole in one. Hold the one with the hole so that light from the sun passes through the hole and lands on the second poster board. The greater the distance between the two poster boards, the large the projected image, but it will also be fainter.
Pinhole Projection Technique
Wondering What's Up in the Sky This Month? - Talk to the Doc! Each month, our Observatory Director, Dr. Aaron Clevenson, assembles a 2 page PDF file that contains objects that are visible in the evening sky during the next month. To download a copy to your computer, click here.
If you are looking for a more complete list of those objects that are visible in the nighttime sky, he has also created a spreadsheet in Excel. (It will not work on Macintosh Computers.) It is organized using the lists of the Astronomical League. To access this spreadsheet, click here. It is called "What's Up Tonight, Doc?" Note: This is a large file and will take a bit of time to load.)
For more information on the lists, the Astronomical League, and the North Houston Astronomy club, please ask any of the astronomers on the next public night at the observatory.
The Insperity Observatory became fully operational in June of 2009. Through the support of many donors, this state of the art facility is now available to students and families in our area. However, funds are still needed to equip this observatory with teaching materials and equipment. If you would like to support the exciting efforts of the Observatory, designate your gift today!
There is a tool available for schools and classes to make reservations to have a night at the Observatory. Please look at our Observatory calendar to see what nights are available. We also now have the ability to make reservations for groups not part of a school in Humble ISD. For more information, please contact the Observatory Director: Aaron Clevenson at email@example.com. Please look at our Observatory calendar to see what nights are available.
The Community of Humble / Insperity Observatory Society, the observatory's virtual astronomy club has over 800 members. Are you one of them? It's easy, it's free, and it will keep you informed of local events and events throughout the cosmos. If you would like to be on our email distribution list, please sign up at the observatory or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . The distribution list will be used to send brief email news and announcements about upcoming events at the Observatory, as well as general announcements about upcoming astronomical events to watch for.
Dr. Aaron B. Clevenson