HAL Website Search:

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

What's New with HAL?

Get ready for our second Virtual Public Star Party - Saturday, April 17th - 8:00PM to 11:00PM! Live views from members' telescopes. 100% interactivity between guests and operators, all from the comfort of your own home.

            Event: Virtual Public Star Party 
            Date:  Saturday, April 17th, 2021
            Time:  8:00PM EDT - 11:00PM EDT
            Passcode: planets

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.

Report - Astro School - Polar Alignment 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...]

Our first Virtual Public Star Party of 2021 was a big success! Thanks to all who participated. And we have our second Virtual Public Star Party coming up April 17th.

April DATE UNKNOWN: "Based on data from the Ingenuity Mars helicopter that arrived late Friday night, NASA has chosen to reschedule the Ingenuity Mars Helicopterís first experimental flight to no earlier than April 14..." This date has passed; looking for NASA's update. [Read More...]

6 Things to Know About 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: April 16, 2021 @ 14:02 EST