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RASC eNews

RASC eNews

The night sky is a vast and ancient collection of mythological stories and superstition. In fact, one of the most famous legends is known as the Royal Family of Constellations in which six patches of sky take part in this nightly play. To sum up the story, King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia sacrificed their daughter Andromeda to the sea monster Cetus to appease the Gods. Perseus – our northern hero was on his way back from slaying the Medusa with her severed head in a potato bag. Hearing Andromeda’s cry for help, Perseus arrived not a moment too soon. Quickly thinking, Perseus showed the head of snakes to Cetus and monster immediately turned to stone. Our hero and his damsel fly off on Pegasus– the winged horse.  As seen from 45 degrees north latitude, half of Perseus is a circumpolar, meaning that our hero will not dip below the northern horizon. The further north you travel, more constellation will not be lost. Buried within its borders are many fine celestial objects with the most famous being, the Double Cluster. These jewels are catalogued as NGC 884 and 869 which reside around7,000 light years (ly) from us. This duo is spectacular in binoculars and very low power binoculars.

Long-time RASC member David Levy has discovered another comet visually near Saturn in the pre-dawn sky as reported by the Central Bureau of Astronomical Telegrams (circular 8757). David Levy is a life member of the Society attached to the Kingston Centre and also serves as their Honorary President. Congratulations!

October is well known for its wet weather. Cold, damp days are a sure indication winter is slowly creeping in. With this in mind, we will focus this month’s article on the watery constellation namely Aquarius – the Water Bearer and Pisces – the Fishes.

October 2006 Journal The 2006 October Journal is now online. Go to http://www.rasc.ca/currentjrasc/. The username and password are the same as before; see the broadcast email to members.

CONTENTS - Table des matières


FEATURE ARTICLES/ARTICLES DE FOND

No proposals have been received for the 2008 General Assembly. The Annual Meeting is required by the Bylaws, but the paper sessions, tours, and social events which have become a part of the "GA Experience" are hosted by a local Centre. Unless a Centre steps forward to host the 2008 GA, the event may be cancelled.

Any Centre with the interest in hosting this event should contact Scott Young at sdy @ mts.net as soon as possible.

Seasonal Change

As the days of September moves closer to the change of seasons at 00:03 hrs eastern on the 23rd, darkness creeps in earlier and earlier. After the 23rd, the hours of darkness will trump daylight hours. Here in Canada, the comfortable nights are coming to an end as the winter winds are only a couple of months away. Until then we have a good number of targets to nail down – so let’s get started.

The Minutes from National Council meetings NC062 and NC063, plus the Annual Meeting, all from the Ottawa General Assembly (May 19 to 21) are now available on the Members' Section of the RASC Web site.

This is history in action!

The Glorious Milky Way


If you have never experienced the true portrait of the Milky Way Galaxy unfold before your eyes far off in the countryside on a Moonless night, you are missing one of the grandest moments of your life. I recently had the chance to rent a cottage by the lake with my family for ten days, around new Moon. By 10 p.m. locally, the stars began to show themselves, one by one.

Saturday, July 29, was the tenth annual star night at the Pinery Provincial Park, located on the Lake Huron shore about 70km northwest of London. With 1000 campsites, Pinery is one of the largest of Ontario's overnight parks. 18 RASC London Centre members participated and there were 13 telescopes set up. A crowd of about 700 sat on the benches in the park Amphitheatre to hear RASC London Centre president Dave McCarter give an illustrated talk called "Tour the Summer Milky Way."

Come Party under the stars with the members of RASC Winnipeg Centre, at the 2nd Annual Spruce Woods Summer Star Party, Labour Day long weekend, September 1 - 4. Early Registration ends on August 15th, so save a few dollars and sign up now.

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