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Howard Astronomical League - Meetings

All HAL Meetings (and star parties) are held in locations which are smoke free by law. Help us protect our ability to use these facilities by not smoking. Thanks.

Specific dates for the meetings below can be found on the HAL Calendar page. Additional information is communicated near the event in the HAL e-mail group.

HAL General Meetings (Open to the Public)

This Year's Meeting Topics / Speakers

  • HAL's monthly meetings are held at 7:00PM on the 3rd Thursday of every month at:

          The Robinson Nature Center (Map)

          6692 Cedar Lane

          Columbia, MD 21044

 

Click here for more information on this great new facility: Robinson Nature Center.

 

Note: The Robinson Nature Center closes at 5PM and reopens at 6PM just for the HAL meeting.
Do not arrive before 6PM or you will need to wait outside.


HAL Planning Meetings (Open to All Members)

  • Monthly Planning meetings to discuss future club direction, events, meeting topics, outreach, etc. are open to all members.  Attendance is  encouraged. These are held from 7:00-8:00PM on the first Monday of most months* at:

    Wegman's Market 2nd Floor Dining Area (Map)
    8855 McGaw Rd
    Columbia, MD 21045

* Sometimes the normal Planning Meeting date falls on a holiday in which case the meetiings could be either cancelled or rescheduled. Occasionally, the meetings get cancelled or rescheduled due to board member unavailability. Therefore, check the calendar page, the top of the home page, and/or posting on the howardastro e-mail group to be sure a specific meeting will be held.


2020 General Meeting Topics / Speakers
January 16

Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. Jim Johson hosts this meeting. His topic is: "Gravity,  I'm not Half the Mass I Used To Be". General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker: HAL's own Gary Friskhorn, award winning personal telescope maker. His talk will be preceded by the 2020 Board of Director Elections and the Annual Treasurer's Report (both very short).

Bio: HAL member Gary Frishkorn, now retired, last worked for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a Software / Systems Engineer.  About 30 years ago he became very interested in amateur telescope making.  His first project was the design and construction of an 8-inch Newtonian telescope, including grinding and polishing of the primary mirror.  His current project is a 4.5 inch, f/16 refractor telescope.  The design of its achromatic objective is now complete and polishing of its elements underway.
 
This talk will describe his 6-inch aperture binocular telescope and chair mounting.  In 2006, it won first place awards at Stellafane for the mechanical design, craftsmanship, and compound optical performance categories.  The key features of the telescope's conception and design will be covered, followed by a demonstration of its setup and use.

February 20

Open to Public. Doors open at 6PM. Astroschool at 6:15PM. Jim Johnson's topic for Astroschool is: "Gravity: I'm Not Half the Mass I used to Be (Part II)".

General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker Marty Cohen of Company 7 will be leading a discussion on the different types of telescopes, what makes them different from each other, and things you should consider when choosing the telescope style that you will get the most enjoyment when using. This is guaranteed to be a lively interactive session that many of you are very excited about. To help with the discussion, if you can bring a small refractor, dobsonian, SCT or other type of easy to bring in and take out telescope, please send an email directly to Victor Sanchez at vcs_dc@yahoo.com.

New Vice President Victor Sanchez will run the Meeting. He will be talking about; "I gotta find some darker skies". It will be very interesting. Victor is not only our HAL VP, but an accomplished amateur astronomer and imager. 

March 19 Cancelled
April 16 This will be held as a virtual Zoom meeting. See the website or the howardastro email group for Zoom meeting ID information in advance. Speaker TBD.
May 21 Open to Public. May still be a virtual meeting. Astroschool is planned but it may be on a different date and/or time. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
June 18 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
July 16 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
August 20 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
Sept. 17 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
October 15 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
Nov. 19 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.
Dec. 17 Open to Public. Astroschool at 6:15PM. General Meeting starts at 7PM. Guest Speaker TBD.

Archives:
2013 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2014 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2015 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2016 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2017 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2018 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2019 Meetings - Speakers and Topics


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