Canada's National Astronomy Society
Founded in 1868, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is Canada's leading astronomy organization bringing together over 4,200 enthusiastic amateurs, educators and professionals. In addition to many national services, our 29 Centres offer local programs and services in every province of Canada.
Dedicated to the Advancement of Astronomy and Allied Sciences
The RASC was founded as a charitable organization devoted to advancing astronomy. As part of our mission we support astronomy in Canada in many ways including our bi-monthly publication, the Journal, which features lively and interesting articles about astronomy in Canada and astronomical research by our own members and professional astronomers. Many RASC Centres also support local programs of public education and outreach - promoting science literacy and astronomy while bringing the wonders of the night sky to youth groups, the general public and each other. The RASC provides funding and support for astronomical literacy through the Ruth Northcott Memorial Fund, which is administered by the Society. The various committees of the Society support astronomical education, light-pollution abatement, observing, exploring our astronomical heritage, and the publication of internationally respected astronomical works.
To inspire curiosity in all people about the Universe, to share scientific knowledge, and to foster collaboration in astronomical pursuits.
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) encourages improved understanding of astronomy for all people, through education, outreach, research, publication, enjoyment, partnership, and community.
The RASC has a proud heritage of excellence and integrity in its programs and partnerships. As a vital part of Canada's science community, we support discovery through the scientific method. We inspire and encourage people of all ages to learn about, and enjoy, astronomy.
National Reach, Local Flair
Each of the 29 Centres of the Society conducts a variety of activities of interest to its members and to the public. At regular meetings, well-known professional and amateur astronomers give lectures on a variety of topics of current interest. In addition, there are study and special-interest groups. Some members take part in regular observations of variable stars, lunar occultations, sunspots, meteors, comets and other phenomena; others develop special skills in astrophotography. Most Centres have public education programs, including special star nights during the summer months when thousands of people are given an opportunity to look through a telescope courtesy of an RASC volunteer.
Our formal mandate, as defined in our incorporation documents states that the RASC has the following objectives:
- to stimulate interest and to promote and increase knowledge in astronomy and related sciences;
- to acquire and maintain equipment, libraries and other property necessary for the pursuit of its aims;
- to publish journals, books and other material containing information on the progress of astronomy and the work of the Society;
- to receive and administer gifts, donations and bequests from members of the Society and others;
- to make contributions and render assistance to individuals and institutions engaged in the study and advancement of astronomy.