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RASC eNews

RASC eNews

A Faint Constellation

The Winter Triangle consists of three bold, bright suns named Betelgeuse, Sirius and Procyon which are the alpha stars belonging to Orion, Canis Major and Canis Minor respectively. These guideposts are amongst the eighteen brightest stars that make up the winter sky - Taurus, Auriga, Gemini and the three previous mentioned constellations. However, embedded in this triangle is a dim constellation called Monoceros. In fact its alpha star only registers magnitude 4.1, but somehow the asterism depicts a Unicorn.

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.

What's inside?

Here's a rundown of what you'll get:

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.

Are you looking for a meaningful way to contribute to the RASC? Why not get involved and help determine the future direction and success of your Society? Here’s how:

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).

Winter’s River

Eridanus the River is a large slinky constellation that continues far below our south Canadian horizon. In fact the alpha star named Achernar shining as bright as Procyon at magnitude 0.5 is located at declination -57 degrees. This long stretch of celestial landscape is listed as the 6th largest in the sky and is well populated with many galaxies.

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.

The Society's fees will go up beginning 2008 January 1. The increase will be $4 per year for ordinary members and $2.50 per year for youth members.

The new fees, exclusive of any Centre surcharges, are:

For subscriptions expiring 2007 December 31 and later, there will be a modest increase in the subscription fee for the printed version of the Journal of the RASC.

For Canadian member-subscribers, the new annual rate is $16/year (it was $15) plus GST.

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