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Alpha Ridge Star Parties Canceled.
Meetings Virtual Until Further Notice.

What's New with HAL?

The next Planning Meeting (for current members only) will be held on Monday, May 3rd at 7PM. Zoom information is now available via the member's log-in.

Our second Virtual Public Star Party, April 17th was very successful! We had over 20 participants that stayed just short of 3 hours. Phil thanks Chuck Cynamon, Brad Martin, Jim Johnson, and Gene Handler for their preparations, presentations, and leading discussions. [Read more...]

Second Virtual Star Party - Zoom Recording [2:40; 716 MB; available until 4/30/21]

Many thanks to our April 15th General Meeting guest speaker, Sue Ann Heatherly (Green Bank Observatory), whose topic was How is radio astronomy different from optical astronomy? Our members and guests enjoyed her outstanding presentation. More information is available on the meetings page.

Astro School - Polar Alignment Report from Phil: "I would very much like to thank John Nagy for conducting Astro School [on April 8th]. We had 32 participants. The questions and conversations went much deeper than I would have ever expected on the topic of polar alignment. It was very interesting to learn of John's methodology on how he did trial and error, as well as measured the relative differences going from no polar aligning to using different tools." [Read more...]

April 30, 2021: Ingenuity Completes Its Fourth Flight NASA's Ingenuity helicopter completed a 872-foot (266-meter) round trip and was in the air for 117 seconds. [Read More...]

Review the 3rd flight video on YouTube (wait for return from the right starting at 48 sec.)

NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

What's happening with the Mars 2020 mission and Perseverance?

NOTE: The parks have now partially re-opened. However, HAL is still not scheduling live members-only or public events. HAL keyholders are free to call members-only impromptu observing sessions via the closed hal_impromptu email list for Carrs Mill Park or Alpha Ridge Park. There are no restroom facilities available at either location at this time.

Election Update: As required by HAL bylaws, a new board of directors is elected each year at the HAL general meeting in January. See the complete list of 2021 HAL Officers and Positions.

Due to COVID-19, the monthly Planning (board of directors) meeting, Astroschool, the HAL public meeting, and various observing events will be held "virtually" using Zoom.

Check back frequently for updates. HAL looks forward to getting back to normal as soon as prudent. We look forward to seeing everyone and again showing members of the public the wonders of the night sky.

to the Howard Astronomical League. HAL is an astronomy club located in Howard County, Maryland. We hold monthly meetings on the lower (mezzanine) level of the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, MD, conduct public star parties at Alpha Ridge Park utilizing the "HALO" observatory, and provide community outreach events at various Howard County locations - often in public library parking lots. We invite everyone to be a part of amateur astronomy with us. You will find information about our meeting dates on the Our Meetings page. Information on membership is located on the HAL Membership page.

Join Us
for our Star Parties and Outreach events. We also provide an e-mail group for communication of timely club News and for astronomical discussions.

to help plan your observing sessions is available on the calendar page or the astrolinks page -- where you can check for moonrise times, Iridium flares, International Space Station sightings, Jupiter's Great Red Spot transit and a lot more. And don't forget to check the weather before you venture out.

HAL's Observatory at Alpha Ridge Park (HALO)
is normally open monthly but not at the current time due to the pandemic. HALO houses HAL's 6 inch "Illig" Refracting telescope. Check these web pages for full details about the observatory. For a schedule of events at the observatory, check the HAL star parties page or the HAL calendar.

HAL is proud to have official affiliations with:

RNC Robinson Nature Center Astronomical League
Howard County Recreation & Parks

Alpha Ridge Park
International Dark Sky Association
Howard County Conservancy Alpha Ridge Park

© 1999-2021 Howard Astronomical League
All Rights Reserved

Last modified: May 04, 2021 @ 11:32 EST