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RASC eNews

RASC eNews

The RASC astrosketcher community is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2013 Summer Solstice to Autumn Equinox Contest is Gerry Smerchanski of the Winnipeg Centre! Gerry's award winning work is a depiction of the lunar crater Gassendi in all its stark glory. It can be found, along with the other quality entries, here. We wish to extend out congratulations to Gerry, and our thanks to all who participated.

The Sea Goat

With shorter days we see the sun now set before 7 p.m. locally and those pesky mosquitoes are all but gone. When you add these factors, October is a great month to be outdoors and doing what we all love to do. We first start off with the sinking Milky Way in the south.


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! Nominations are due on 31 December 2013.

The Beyond IYA (BIYA) committee is pleased to announce that our Discover the Universe / À la découverte de l'Univers online astronomy webinar program has been awarded a $3500 grant through the Saint Mary’s University SEEP (Student Employment Experience Program). This will enable the program to hire a SMU student on a part-time term basis to expand the reach and scope of the exisiting program, making it even more successful.

International Occultation Timing AssociationInterested in occultation astronomy? Plan now to attend the 31st Annual Meeting of the International Occultation Timing Association in Toronto from October 4-6th at the David Dunlap Observatory. Occultation enthusiasts from across North America plus remote participants from around the world will be participating in series of informative presentations, a live occultation event in Muskoka and more.

Paul Lehmkuhl, a student at the University of Saskatchewan, has made this great video describing the history of the University of Saskatchewan Observatory. The video also gets into problems at the observatory these days, such as light pollution. The interviews feature some prominent members of the Society as well as university personnel involved with the facility.

Discover the Universe

Our popular astronomy workshops for teachers are back!

Registration is now open for our workshops starting September 30th. All our programs are offered online, available in English and French, and best of all, completely free! The workshops for teachers, which last three weeks, cover the main astronomy concepts from grades 5 through 8 while providing ideas and resources to be used in class.

Look High To The Eagle In The Sky

Where has the time gone? We are already into September. And it is this time of year we can start observing about 8:30 p.m. local time. As we begin our observing run, the famous Summer Triangle greets us high overhead. The three suns that make up this asterism are Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, Deneb in the Cygnus the Swan and Altair in Aquila the Eagle and is the starting point for this month’s article.

Each year between late July and early August, the Earth passes through comet Swift-Tuttle’s debris. The debris (mostly bits of dust) burn up in the atmosphere and the result can be a spectacular meteor shower. One of the best opportunities for viewing will be across the northern hemisphere between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. tonight (August 12). Look toward the northeast (Perseus), but expect to see the meteors in any part of the sky.


RASC Designates Wood Buffalo National Park as a New Dark Sky Preserve

TORONTO, CANADA (Aug 2, 2013) – On June 28, 2013 the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) officially designated Wood Buffalo National Park as a new RASC Dark Sky Preserve through its National Certification Program. Wood Buffalo is the 17th Dark Sky Preserve in Canada, and the first northern park, to be designated by the RASC.

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