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RASC eNews

RASC eNews

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact: Nicole Kluger, 212-286-7847

Construction of the David Thompson Observatory at Fort William Historical Park here in Thunder Bay has begun. When complete the 15' Automated ProDome will house a 20" Planewave CDK, on a Planewave Ascention HR mount. The secondary scope is a 5" TMB Refractor. The facility is 100% owned by the Ontario Government.

TORONTO, CANADA (November 2, 2011) – The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) officially designated Fundy National Park of Canada in New Brunswick as a new RASC Dark-sky Preserve through its National Certification Program on October 29, 2011. Fundy is the 14th Dark-sky Preserve in Canada to be designated by the Society.

Of Fish and Whales

As we open the second to last month of 2011, we set our sights on a couple of watery creatures namely Pisces and Cetus. On the first of the month, they are located on the meridian at about 10 p.m. local time and well placed for galaxy hunting. Our two feature constellations reside in an area called “The Water” and is also home to other such starry patterns as Eridanus and Aquarius.

As part of the launch of the new RASC website, some member login names are being changed from a five-digit member ID to a personal name made up of the member's initials and last name. This will affect all members who have not changed their default login ID to a personal ID. To find out how to change your login you can check out a new video or visit

The National Council of the RASC is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Andrew Fraknoi of Foothill College, California has accepted the Society's nomination of him as an Honorary Member. Professor Fracknoi was nominated by Mary Lou Whitehorne, who has had occasion to meet Professor Fraknoi and recommended him on the basis of his work in Education and Public Outreach.

E. Cliffton (Cliff) Carr, a Life Member of, and major benefactor to, the RASC's Toronto Centre passed away unexpectedly on October 27, 2011. Mr. Carr made a substantial donation to the Toronto Centre that led to the founding of the Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO) near Thornbury, Ontario and will be greatly missed by his many friends in the Society.

Aquarius The Water Bearer

Now that we are well into fall, many factors are in a sky gazers favour. We first have about ten hours of darkness (except when the moon is out). Couple that with very low temperatures that drive away mosquitoes as well as the absence of traditional summertime haze and humidity and we have the possibility of memorable nights ahead. This month, we will focus on Aquarius the Water Bearer. Its overall area lists as the 10th largest (980 square degrees) and can be found between Capricorn on the right and Pisces on the left. Aquarius is located in the southern part of the night sky.

The RASC sponsors several annual national awards that recognize achievement or service by our members. These awards include:

The Montréal Planetarium, located on rue Saint-Jacques, will be closing on October 11 to allow the current team to plan and produce the programming for the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, which is slated to open in spring 2013. So families and astronomy buffs still have a few days left to visit this Space for Life, which presents the starry sky this month and multimedia shows for all ages. For the past 45 years, the Montréal Planetarium has been explaining and making the fascinating universe of astronomy and space exploration accessible to everyone.

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