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RASC On-line Communities

The RASC hosts a number of on-line discussion groups are an excellent way to stay in touch with RASC members from across the country. Discussion groups are accessible either on-line via our discussion forums or via email direct to your inbox.

National Discussion Groups

National discussion groups bring together members from across the RASC to discuss subjects of general interest. Currently the RASC is offering:

  • RASCals - The RASC's informal town hall has been operating continuously since November 1995 and has over 300 members who share the latest interesting astronomy news as well as updates on RASC activities and politics. See the list etiquette information below.
  • Astro-Sketchers - The RASC Astrosketchers group brings together RASC members who are interested in sharing the the pursuit of sketching astronomical objects at the eyepiece. (See also the AstroSketchers page.)
  • RASCAG - The RASC Astroimaging Group (RASC-AG) brings together RASC members who are interested in sharing the latest techniques and assist each other with astroimaging and processing.
  • EPO - The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) discussion group shares tips and techniques for science communication to school groups and the general public and works to leverage the Society's capabilities to reach
  • LPA - The National Light Pollution Abatement (LPA) discussion group works to reduce light pollution by sharing resources and success stories from interested members across Canada.

Centre E-mail Discussion Groups

Most RASC Centres also host one or more local e-mail discussion groups. Some are hosted on local Centre website while others are hosted via commercial services such as Yahoo Groups or Google Groups. To find out more about your local Centre e-mail list consult your local Centre website or newsletter.

Discussion Group Etiquette

RASC discussion groups are moderated which means that activity on the list is managed for the benefit of all participants. Please try to keep your messages related to the RASC (including how to improve our society), amateur astronomy in Canada, observing, etc. Other friendly topics are generally permitted as long as they are kept to a minimum. Private email responses to messages that wander off topic are definitely encouraged. Please try to follow a few simple rules:

  1. Start new "threads" with a descriptive subject.
  2. Keep the subject line current -- if the topic of discussion changes mid-thread, change the subject line.
  3. When "quoting" material from a previous message, only include the relevant parts, NOT THE WHOLE MESSAGE.
  4. When replying to daily-digest messages, insert an appropriate subject.
  5. Avoid sending purely personal replies like "See ya tomorrow, Fred..." to the list.
  6. Non-RASC politics, Religion, my brand of scope is better than your brand and Windows-Mac topics all spell a recipe for certain flame wars. Please avoid these topics like the plague.
  7. Remember this is a hobby. Do not annoy or be easily annoyed. Enjoy yourself.

We try to maintain friendly conversations here, so use lots of "emoticons" like :-), :-(, etc. to help us understand your mood, if the subject is controversial, why not wait until the following day before replying. The list moderator reserves the right to remove anyone from the list who abuses the list rules or its members. You will be warned before this happens.