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New Secure Web Portal Available to Members

Beginning 2009 Jan 9, members are invited to use the new RASC Secure Web Portal to browse and update their membership profile on-line. Visit the new portal at https://secure.rasc.ca/rasc. Using the portal members can:

  • Update their address, e-mail and personal information
  • View your current membership status and outstanding dues payable (if any)
  • Update your National Options
  • Assign a personal password and login

Here is a quick overview of the key features of the new web  portal:

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Help the David Dunlap Observatory be given a Historical, Cultural and/or Natural Designation

In 1935, the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) was presented to the University of Toronto by Jessie Donalda Dunlap as a memorial to her husband. Its goals of astronomical research, training of students at the University, and the fostering of public interest in astronomy have been met effectively since its inception. In the fall of 2007 the University of Toronto decided to sell the property and it was sold in July 2008.

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Catherine Lovekin will be awarded 2009 Plaskett Medal

Dear RASC and CASCA members,
We are very pleased to announce that the 2009 Plaskett Medal will be awarded to Dr. Catherine Lovekin.

The Plaskett Medal was established in 1988 in recognition of the pivotal role played by John Stanley Plaskett in the establishment of astrophysical research in Canada. The Medal is awarded annually by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and CASCA, to the Ph.D. graduate from a Canadian university who is judged to have submitted the most outstanding doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics in the preceding two years.

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Jay Anderson awarded the Winnipeg Centre Achievement Award

Winnipeg Centre member Jay Anderson received the Winnipeg Centre Achievement Award earlier this month. The award recognizes Jay for his many achievements as an eclipse meteorologist, astrophotographer, and most recently as Editor of the Journal of the RASC.

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Applications Due for Centre Projects Fund

The December 31 deadline is fast approaching for applications to the Centre Projects Fund.

The Centre Projects Fund was created by National Council in February 2006 with the intention that it provide funding for special initiatives at the centre level. Revenue comes from Sustaining Memberships and donations directed specifically to the Centre Projects Fund. The Centre Project Fund Trust Declaration clearly details the intended uses for these funds as well as the expectations of centres who receive grants.

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UN declares 2009 International Year of Astronomy

Today the United Nations (UN) 62nd General Assembly proclaimed 2009 the “International Year of Astronomy”. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is an initiative by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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New President of the RASC announced

The other members of the Executive Committee, with the endorsement of the Board Pilot Committee, have appointed Dave Lane as RASC National President. Dave will complete the term of Scott Young, which ends on 2008 June 30 (the second National Council meeting at the GA). As a result of this, Dave has resigned from the position of 1st Vice-President, which we expect will remain vacant until the GA.

We welcome Dave to his new role, and we ask you to give him all of your usual support and enthusiasm.

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RASC President, Scott Young, Resigns

It is with regret that we announce that Society President, Scott Young, has resigned his position, effective Saturday, 2008 April 5. This came as a surprise to everyone involved, and we are saddened by his decision. His resignation was related to a difference of opinion with his Executive Committee colleagues that made him feel he had lost the mandate to lead.

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The Sky This Month - February 2008

The Twins and an Orangey Moon

Ranked as the seventeenth and twenty-third brightest stars, the guide posts to the Twins of Gemini are now located high in the night sky. Their names respectively are Pollux and Castor and shine at magnitudes 1.14 and 1.57. Pollux is a giant orange star that seems to have a hot outer corona like out Sun. It does possess a fainter companion too close to be resolved by amateur telescope. Although it is brighter than Castor Bayer for some reason gave the designation of alpha (the brightest) to Castor. With a good telescope, three of Castor’s stars can be resolved; however these are really three double stars giving us a total of six suns that appear as one to the unaided eye.

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The Sky This Month - January 2008

Owning the Winter Sky

The constellation Orion is synonymous with frosty Canadian nights. With its majestic collection of bright suns and overall size, it truly owns the winter sky. Orion the Hunter lists as 26th in area as it holds the deed to 594 square degrees of celestial real estate.

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