Looking Up by R. Peter Broughton (Past President, RASC) is a masterpiece of research covering the entire nationwide organization, since its founding in 1868. General readers will be surprised to find out what amateurs can learn from the sky. Leaders of volunteer organizations and educators looking for ways to promote greater appreciation of science will find many useful ideas in the book. Historians will also find interesting facts about the origins and contributions the RASC centres have made in their local communities.
“If you count yourself a Canadian astronomer, this book is part of your heritage; you will be pleased to have it on your bookshelf”
–Don Fernie, Cassiopeia, Canadian Astronomical Society
Although Looking Up is out of print, many of the Centres of the Society should have it in their libraries. Alternatively, it is available for download here.
About the Front Cover
The front photograph on the jacket of Looking Up is by Alan Dyer (Calgary Centre), a renowned Canadian astrophotogapher and astronomy writer, a contributing editor of Sky & Telescope, SkyNews, a collaborator with Terence Dickinson on acclaimed projects, and winner of the RASC's Simon Newcomb Award in 2007. The image is itself part of the history of education and public outreach in Canadian astronomy. Alan writes that the photograph was "taken at one of the 1970s Starnights we held annually in Coronation Park, Edmonton, outside the old Queen Elizabeth Planetarium. The Edmonton RASC and Planetarium organized Starnights each year, carrying on a tradition begun the 1960s. The Starnights started as space exhibits at the Jubilee Auditorium, then in the 1970s when traveling NASA exhibits were no longer available, evolved into observing sessions in the Park, using portable telescopes supplied by the Planetarium and RASC members.
The current Observing Deck at the TELUS World of Science-Edmonton, now 25 years old this year (2009), is a direct result of those events, giving the city a permanent home for public telescopes, to carry on the tradition of those early Starnights. Indeed, the Celestron 14 telescope depicted at left in the cover photo is still in use at the TWS Observing Deck. Hundreds of thousands of people must have looked through it by now (it has superb optics)."
Table of Contents
|Preface and Acronyms|
|How I Wonder What You Are
The Society, its Name, Objectives, By-laws, Characteristics and Governance
|The Centre of the Universe
The origins of the Society in Toronto, and the headquarters of the RASC
|Giants and Dwarfs
Classes of membership, Women's Issues, and Professional/Amateur mix, Award winners
|Keeping a Balance
Income and expenditure, Grants, Funds and Donations
|Of Volumes and Space
|The Three-Body Problem
The Journal, Observer's Handbook and Bulletin
|Encounters of All Kinds
Public Lectures, Shows and displays, Star Nights, Astronomy Day, Youth Programs, Media
|The Scope of Observing
Star Parties, Light Pollution, Solar System, Stars and Nebulae, Occultations and Eclipses
Members' Meetings at Centres, the Annual Meetings and General Assemblies
|Satellites and the First Steps Beyond
Early Expansion in Ontario, Ottawa, Peterborough, Hamilton and Guelph
Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Victoria and Vancouver
|From West to East
Montreal, Quebec, Halifax and St John's
|The Enterprise Returns
The Other Ontario Centres and back to Toronto
|Final Thoughts, General Bibliography, Notes, Index|