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Hawaiian Astronomical Society
Home of Amateur Astronomy in Hawaii
Founded in 1949, the Hawaiian Astronomical Society is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting astronomy in Hawaii. HAS is affiliated with the Astronomical League. Membership is open to all.
The range of HAS observing activities reflects the club's diverse interests. Members have built telescopes, photographed deep-sky objects, chased eclipses, and observed stellar occultations by planets and asteroids. The meteor group has built radio equipment to detect ionized trails of meteors. They also have coordinated observations between the islands. Some HAS members have even spoken with Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle and Cosmonauts aboard the Mir Space Station via Ham Radio.
The club meets at 7:30 PM on the first Tuesday of every month at the Bishop Museum Planetarium or in the Atherton Halau. After conducting club business, members listen to talks by professional astronomers or view videos, planetarium shows or special presentations by club members. Meetings are open to the general public.
The monthly HAS newsletter, The Astronews, keeps members informed of the club's many activities as well as astronomy-related topics of local and global interest. Members also enjoy substantial group discounts on subscriptions to Sky & Telescope, and Astronomy magazines. See the application form for details.
HAS conducts monthly dark-sky star parties. These are usually held on the weekend closest to the new moon away from light pollution (i.e. Saturday at Dillingham Air Field). First quarter moon viewing is also held in two locations: Kahala Community Park (East Oahu) and Geiger Park in Ewa Beach (Leeward Oahu), on Saturday each month. Star parties provide opportunities for new members to meet with the old hands and for newcomers to compare telescopes before buying. These gatherings also allow for a relaxed and informal exchange of information among members, as well as serious observing projects from a safe, dark site.
The club owns several telescopes that are available for rent to members: a Personal Solar Telescope (PST) for solar viewing of sun and prominences, and a 6" and 8" Newtonian. Between star parties, members may take these telescopes home for their own use. (There is a nominal charge of $20 per month plus a $20 deposit). This is a great opportunity for those who do not own such equipment.
Club members assist the Bishop Museum's Planetarium staff showing special events like occultations, eclipses and various astronomical events for public viewing. Using their own equipment or the Museum's 12.5" telescope, members explain what is being viewed. In addition to filling a real need, the public observing sessions at the Bishop Museum allow members to meet and talk with the general public about astronomy. HAS members frequently hold star parties for schools and other groups interested in astronomy. Gatherings often attract sizeable groups. Members have also volunteered to judge at the Hawaii State Science Fair and the club presents awards for the best student astronomy project.
Dues and Additional Benefits
Regular dues are $20 per year ($25 for a paper copy of the Astronews), $12 for students ($15 for a paper copy of the Astronews). Additional family members may join for $2 each per year. HAS members may show their membership card to gain free admittance to shows at the Bishop Museum Planetarium. See the application form for details.
HAS Web Site
The club maintains its own web site at http://www.hawastsoc.org. Its pages feature the latest information on our club, a full on-line atlas, and images from various satellites including Hubble. Drop in and see what we have to offer.