by Nicole Mortillaro, Editor-in-Chief, the Journal
The Journal is the house organ of the RASC and a publication that has earned a prominent place in the history of amateur societies. Even a casual perusal of past issues will outline the development of science and the history of the Society over the last century. Among its editors have been prominent Canadian astronomers and prominent Canadians, writing about the discoveries and events that defined the character of our astronomical institutions. It is a proud publication and one that should give every RASC member a warm glow, knowing that they are a part of this heritage.
We live in different times now, where information is quickly and completely available on the Web, and where the Society's affairs are widely discussed. Is there still a place for a venerable paper publication such as the JRASC?
Electronic information is volatile. Institutions watch their histories disappear with every retirement, with every crashed hard drive, and with every computer replacement. Paper persists, archived in libraries and bookshelves, languishing without readers until finally found and opened by future explorers. It is a noble fate, but unfortunately barely one for the present and certainly not one for the future. The Journal — and likely all written words — must eventually succumb to technology and the instant spread of ideas and knowledge.
Two things are evident in this trend: the need to provide engaging articles and new ideas relevant to the modern astronomer in a timely fashion, and the need to preserve the record of our Society. We can do this. Original contributions from knowledgeable astronomers — amateur and professional — will satisfy the first. A high-quality publication that merits archiving in collections such as the NASA Astrophysics Data Service (ADS) server will attain the second. Both of these goals have costs. The first requires effort and imagination by our members and contributors. The second relies on the volunteers who assemble the Journal and guard its merits. In a way, an article in the JRASC, as in any quality peer-reviewed publication, guarantees a certain immortality to the author, at least as long as our institutions persist.
Such goals have considerable cost in time, effort, and money. As we cross the end of our first century and look ahead to the second, surely they are worthy destinations.
Editor-in-Chief: Nicole Mortillaro
Associate Editor, Research: Doug Hube
Associate Editor, General: Michael Attas
Editorial Assistant, General: Michele Arenburg
Production Manager: James Edgar
- Michael Allen
- Martin Beech
- Dave Chapman
- Ralph Chou
- Ralph Croning
- Dave Garner
- Patrick Kelly
- Gail Wise
- Jay Anderson (News Notes)
- Ted Dunphy (It's Not All Sirius)
- Mary Beth Laychak (CFHT Chronicles)
- Blair MacDonald (Imager's Corner)
- Blake Nancarrow (Binary Universe)
- Curt Nason (Astrocryptic)
- John Percy (John Percy's Universe)
- Randall Rosenfeld (Art & Artifact)
- Eric Rosolowsky (Dish on the Cosmos)
- Leslie Sage (Second Light)
- Rick Saunders (Maker's Minute)
- David Turner (Reviews)
- Michele Arenburg
- Ossama El Badawy
- Margaret Brons
- Angelika Hackett
- Kim Leitch