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RASC eNews

RASC eNews

Dr. Doug Welch, a member of the Hamilton Centre and astronomy professor at McMaster University, has been awarded the McNeil Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.

Looking Up At Royalty

Perched high in northern skies are two figures of pure royalty. King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia were also portrayed as main characters in a famous mythological story. The “Royal Family of Constellations” involves the said King and Queen, as they sacrifice their daughter Andromeda to the sea monster Cetus. But Perseus saves Andromeda in the nick of time and both fly off on the winged horse Pegasus.

The Glory Of The Night

August is a busy time for campsites and cottages as city dwellers plan their vacation. It is that special time when the family or a group of friends plan their meals, pack the car and drive to the wilderness. If weather is on your side, the outdoor experience can be a thing of beauty. Between the sweet smell of fresh air, the peace and quiet along with first hand witnessing nature in all its glory, camping can be a memorable experience. Of course physical activities such as hiking, swimming or even fishing are enjoyed during daylight hours. However, when the Sun’s last photons disappear behind the mountains and out of view, the night sky begins to change.

On a 230-metre mountain just north of Victoria, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO)’s 1.8 metre reflecting telescope has probed the night skies for 92 years. It’s apt now that Parks Canada should designate the observatory as a national historic site to recognize its importance to Canadian astronomy’s development.

The flash motions from National Council meetings NC102 and 103, plus the motions from the Annual Meeting, are now on-line at http://www.rasc.ca/private/minutes/index.shtml

Ophiuchus – The Mystery Constellation

The world of astrology and those who follow its daily predictions were delt a crushing blow in the second week of 2011. Over night, the dates of the signs were revamped and a mysterious thirteenth house was added. People woke up to find out they were no long who they thought they were. For instance, if someone went to bed a Capricorn, they woke up as a Sagittarius, etc. Personally, it was about time these dates changed because of the 26,000 year wobble called precession. The Sun now appears in the constellation to the left from where your sign used to be. As for this mysterious pattern thrown into the mix – there is no mystery.

The national constitution committee is seeking dedicated, detail-oriented RASCals to help draft new Articles of Incorporation for the RASC, in time for the 2012 Edmonton GA and annual meeting.

The national constitution committee is seeking dedicated, detail-oriented RASCals to help draft new Articles of Incorporation for the RASC, in time for the 2012 Edmonton GA and annual meeting. Join the Constitution Committee and shape RASC's Future! The new Canada Not for Profit Corporations Act (CNCA) will soon be declared law (expected in fall of 2011). This means we have no choice but to overhaul and restructure our governance documents.

Kathyrn Aurora Gray's Supernova Discovery

Kathryn Aurora Gray has been invited to take part in the opening of Starmus (www.starmus.com) from June 20-25, 2011 in the Canary Islands. Kathryn, a member of the New Brunswick Centre, and her parents wish to thank the RASC for its support.

Puff The Draco Dragon

The beauty about circumpolar constellations is that they never set below the horizon. From forty-five degrees north latitude, we can enjoy such familiar patterns as Ursae Majoris (Big Dipper), Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Camelopardalis, Draco and of course Ursae Minoris (Little Dipper) which sports the North Star. For the rest of the constellations, that depends how high or low in declination they reside. This month, we will take a look at the Draco the Dragon.

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