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New Mailing Lists and Features from the RASC!

RASC members can now sign-up directly for our public discussion groups from the new National website. Here is a list of groups that are available:

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Nobel Prize winner funds school astronomy program

Dr. Brian Schmidt, who won this year's Nobel Prize for Physics (with Dr. Saul Perlmutter and Dr. Adam Riess; see December 2011 JRASC, page 228), is using part of his prize money to fund an astronomy education program discontinued by the Australian government.
For more information see the full story here:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/nobel-winners-prize-for-school-science-program/story-e6frgcjx-1226215574165

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Secure Web Portal Outage December 4th

The RASC's supplier of secure web hosting services experienced a hardware failure with their firewall facility which disrupted services on the RASC eStore and on the members-only area of the RASC website on Sunday. This issue has now been resolved and our supplier is investigating additional redundancy and failure-prevention techniques to prevent a reoccurence of the problem. The Society apologizes for any inconvenience this isolated event may have caused.

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Deep Sky Gems Observing List Revised

As published in the December issue of the Bulletin, the "Deep-Sky Gems" list compiled by David Levy was very recently revised in order to complete its evolution into an RASC observing program with certificate. Now your brand-new Observer's Handbook 2012 is out-of-date, even before the year begins! To correct this and with the author's approval, we revised the DSG Handbook article as we expect it to look in the 2013 edition, and we have made the entire 4 pages available online as a PDF download.

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The Sky This Month - December 2011

The Fair Maiden - Andromeda

Whenever the name Andromeda arises in conversation or in print, we immediately visualize a majestic galaxy. The Andromeda Galaxy, aka M31 is located a mere 2.9 million light years - down the cosmic highway. This island of an estimated 400 billion stars can even be spotted naked eye from dark locations. M31 is flanked by two smaller galaxies known as M32 and M110. Mythology depicts Andromeda as the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia and was sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus, but Perseus saved the day.

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Montreal Planetarium Closes October 11th - New Planetarium to Open in 2013

The Montréal Planetarium, located on rue Saint-Jacques, will be closing on October 11 to allow the current team to plan and produce the programming for the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, which is slated to open in spring 2013. So families and astronomy buffs still have a few days left to visit this Space for Life, which presents the starry sky this month and multimedia shows for all ages. For the past 45 years, the Montréal Planetarium has been explaining and making the fascinating universe of astronomy and space exploration accessible to everyone.

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New RASC Website is Now On-line!

The RASC's main website at www.rasc.ca is now back on-line with a new look and feel. The biggest change that members will notice is that members-only content is now protected by a personalized username and password. This is the same password that you use on the Society's secure web portal at https://secure.rasc.ca. Here's what's new at www.rasc.ca:

 

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Planned Maintenance for RASC Website

The RASC's website will be upgraded beginning on Friday, November 18, 2011 at approximately 1:00 p.m. Eastern. This outage will completely replace the existing RASC website with a new platform.

 

This changeover will not affect the RASC's secure web portal at secure.rasc.ca, however, some links and other web components may not be immediately operational at the time of the cutover. Please bear with us as we complete the process of migrating the RASC website to a new and exciting web platform.

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Hamilton Centre Member Receives McNeil Medal from RSC

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.

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Prof. Andrew Fraknoi appointed Honorary Member

The National Council of the RASC is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Andrew Fraknoi of Foothill College, California has accepted the Society's nomination of him as an Honorary Member. Professor Fracknoi was nominated by Mary Lou Whitehorne, who has had occasion to meet Professor Fraknoi and recommended him on the basis of his work in Education and Public Outreach.

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