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RASC eNews

RASC eNews

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) on Monday, Dec. 3, to discuss the latest findings and travels of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft.

PASADENA, Calif. -- The next news conference about the NASA Mars rover Curiosity will be held at 9 a.m. PST(12 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 3, in San Francisco at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Long Cold Nights


Here we are – the last month of 2012. If you do not have a blanket of snow on the ground where you live, it is only a matter of time till it arrives. But before that happens, let’s do some late autumn observing. Cetus the Whale is the fourth largest constellation in night sky. Within its 1,231 square degrees lie more than 50 NGC objects down to magnitude 12.0 with that number tripling when you go down to 13th magnitude.


Do you know someone who has done outstanding work in the RASC? Do they qualify for one of the RASC’s national awards? A list of national awards is given below. Please look within your Centre, and among our unattached members, for those bright and shining stars that deserve recognition. Go to to check the requirements for these national awards, think about the contributions of those hard working RASC members that you know, and nominate them for an award. Now is the time!

As you prepare to brave the cold, clear nights of fall and winter observing, why not consider measuring yourself against an artful and subtle observing quarry, Sirius B?

The RASC Sirius B Project Team is pleased to announce the launch of the Sirius B Observing Challenge website, which contains everything you need to pit yourself against this tough celestial entity. Venture where all too few observers have gone before!

The Big “W”

In astronomical and mythological terms, the Queen of the night belongs to Cassiopeia. Locating the Queen is as simple as looking up on these cool November nights and finding the five suns that form the distinctive letter ‘W’. These stars range in brightness from magnitude 2.5 to 3.4 and are circumpolar, meaning the constellation can be found all year round from our location as it circles some thirty degrees from the North Star – Polaris. Cassiopeia is ranked twenty-fifth in area.

The wait is over.

Whether you're an amateur stargazer or a professional astronomer, the 2013 Observer's Handbook and Calendar have something for everyone. Limited quantities of both products are available, so place your order today!

$27.95 plus S&H and applicable taxes

Free PC Planetarium Software in every book!   

Brightest Comet in Human History?






$27.95 plus S&H and applicable taxes

Free PC Planetarium Software in every book!   

Call for Nominations for RASC National Awards

By Mary Lou Whitehorne, Awards Committee Chair

Will the world end in 2012? Of course not!

Find out just how ridiculous the claims of various snake oil salespeople who are promoting the end of the Mayan calendar by watching this entertaining review of the scientific evidence provided by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell at the 2012 RASC General Assembly courtesy of the Edmonton Centre.


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