Welcome, new members!

You will receive a new membership kit in the mail soon, along with an email that outlines:

  • Information on RASC member benefits and services
  • Your Member’s Only login credentials to the RASC National website.    

Download a copy of this information by clicking here.

Overview

History

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is a national, charitable, not-for-profit organization devoted to the advancement of astronomy and related sciences. There are 30 local Centres of the Society across the country.

The Society was founded on December 1st, 1868 when eight amateur astronomers began an astronomical club in Toronto. The growing group received its Royal Charter in 1903 with the permission of King Edward VII. The Governor General of Canada is our Viceregal Patron. Today, the RASC is made up of over 5,000 members, including both amateur and professional astronomers, across Canada and internationally.

Vision

To be Canada’s premier organization of amateur and professional astronomers, to share scientific knowledge, and to foster collaboration in astronomical pursuits.

Mission

To encourage improved understanding and inspire curiosity about the Universe and astronomy through public outreach, education, and support for astronomical research.

Values

As a vital part of Canada’s science community, we support discovery through the scientific method, and we encourage people of all ages to learn about and enjoy astronomy. We focus on collaboration, fellowship, and enrichment of our community through diversity.

 


Membership

We have three main classes of membership: Regular, Youth, and Family. Members of all three classes are full members of the Society and any local Centre(s) with which they may be affiliated. Members may also choose to be a “National member” and not be affiliated with a Centre. As a RASC member, you will receive national and local publications, along with a variety of services, and have voting privileges at both levels of the organization.

In order to qualify as a Youth member, you must be under 21 years old, or under 25 years old and attending a post-secondary institution.

A family membership is for family members who wish to support the Society, but who don’t require duplicate publications. All members must live at the same address to qualify for this membership.

Affiliate memberships are offered to members who wish to join more than one Centre. One can be a full member of one Centre, and an Affiliate member of one or more other Centres, which may require paying a nominal fee or fees.

Centres

There are 30 Centres across Canada available for members to join. Our Centres offer local meetings, programs, and resources such as equipment loaning to their members. If you’d like to learn more about a specific Centre, check out their websites, or find the centre nearest you, check out our RASC Centres page.

 


Member Benefits 

Annual General Assembly

Each year, a different Centre takes a turn at hosting the General Assembly (GA). All members are invited and encouraged to participate in a three-day conference to share astronomical ideas, attend workshops and tours, learn from recognized speakers, and attend the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. This conference serves as an amazing opportunity not only to engage with experts in the field, but also to network and learn from each other, by seeing what other Centres and members are working on. During the General Assembly, we also take time to recognize the outstanding achievements of our members through our Awards program.

Awards

The RASC sponsors a number of awards for achievement in Canadian astronomy, including the Plaskett Medal (with CASCA), the Chant Medal, the Ken Chilton Prize, the Qilak Award, Service Awards, RASC Fellowships, and the Simon Newcomb Award. If you’d like to learn more about our awards, click here.

Volunteering

We love to see our members volunteer and develop their leadership skills within the Society! If you are interested in volunteering on one or more of our working groups or committees, please contact the Society Office at nationaloffice@rasc.ca or call 1-888-924-7272. A list of committees can be found here.

Insurance

The RASC General Liability insurance covers events described as “normal RASC activities.” This covers members at events sponsored by a Centre or the Society, including publicly advertised events. Centres holding events in public parks, malls, etc., are required to provide proof of insurance coverage, and should file a Certificate of Insurance Request for each event. If you have questions about the General Liability insurance, please reach out to Quan, our insurance broker with The Cooperators.

Quan Nguyen

4450 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON N8W 3T5
Tel: (519) 966 8070/(519) 566 9730
Email: quan_nguyen@cooperators.ca
Website: cooperators.ca/local/Quan-Nguyen-Associates

Member E-services

To find more information on member services and the Society’s local and national activities, please explore the members-only area of our website. Below are a few examples of resources you can find on the website:

  • Governance – member information including items such as the Society’s By-laws

  • National Council – minutes and reports from the Society’s National Council

  • Policy and Procedures – “How to” information for Society volunteers

  • Resources – tools and materials to assist Centres with their education and outreach programming

Email Groups & Discussion Lists

The Society has four major groups that promote discussion and cooperation between members. You can sign up for these email lists here.

  • RASCals – this informal “town hall” links RASC members from across the country

  • Education – a specialist group for astronomy educators sharing tips and techniques

  • Light-Pollution Abatement – this group helps to fight wasteful lighting that damages the night sky

  • RASC-AG – this astroimaging group is a specialty group that focuses on the demanding and rewarding disciplines of astroimaging using film, CCD cameras, and Webcams

  • AstroSketchers – a forum for people who prefer to draw what they see in the eyepiece

In addition to these groups managed by the National Office, most Centres also have their own local email discussion lists. Subscriptions are usually arranged by contacting a member of the Centre Executive.

Observing & Astroimaging Certificates

The RASC offers seven observing programs to promote active observing, based on a selection of object lists published in the Observer’s Handbook. Observing programs are a great way to learn more about the night sky, challenge yourself, and get the most out of your membership! By successfully completing a program as a RASC member, you may apply for an official certificate issued by the Observing Committee. Find out more about our Observing programs here.

In addition to our Observing Programs listed above, the RASC also offers members the opportunity to apply for an Astroimaging certificate. The purpose of this certificate is to introduce beginners to many types of astronomical imaging. There are several types of Astroimaging certificates available, such as Wide Field, Solar System, and Deep Sky. You can learn more about our Astroimaging program here.

 


RASC Membership Publications

Centre Publications

Most Centres offer either a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter highlighting local activities and programming. You can find all Centre newsletters archives here. Check with your centre about subscribing.

The Journal

The Journal is a bi-monthly electronic publication with articles on astronomy, the activities of the RASC and its Centres, research and review papers, and articles of interest to the astronomical community. The online copy of the Journal is available for download for all members. Members can also subscribe to the paper version of the RASC Journal for a small annual fee.

Bulletin

The Bulletin is a monthly electronic news digest with information about the Society and astronomy in Canada. You must provide a valid e-mail address to the Society to receive this publication.

Observer’s Handbook

The Observer’s Handbook was first published in 1907, and is an internationally acclaimed annual reference book. It includes basic data, information on time, optics, observing, the sky month-by-month, the Sun, Moon, planets, and satellites, asteroids, meteors, comets and dust, stars, nebulae, and maps of the night sky.

SkyNews

SkyNews is a bi-monthly Canadian magazine of astronomy and stargazing. Published by the RASC, you already get this publication for FREE as a member benefit! Check out the SkyNews website for space information between magazines.

Observer’s Calendar

The Society produces an annual calendar which provides data on sunrise/moonrise and sunset/moonset times, plus significant astronomical events throughout the year. The best part of the calendar is that the images used are astrophotos from our very own members!

Skyways and Explorons l’astronomie

Designed for Canadian teachers and youth-group leaders, this educator’s guide is available in English and French. It contains hands-on activities that are easy and fun, and that match the needs of Canada’s school science programs.

RASC eNews

The National website provides members with on-going information on amateur astronomy in Canada, including highlights, news from Centres and the professional community. You can find more information here. On the top left hand corner of the page, you can subscribe to the RASC’s RSS feed to have the eNews delivered to your newsreader program.


The Cooperator's Group Home & Auto Insurance

Thanks to a special partnership with The RASC National Office, members can get great deals on their Home and Auto Insurance through the Cooperators! Call to get a free quote today! 

 

 

 


Please Note: if you want to:

  • update your personal profile (postal address, email address, etc.),
  • renew your membership,
  • purchase RASC products and publications

log in at secure.rasc.ca (using the same username and password you used here). If you need support, please click here to create a support ticket and our Membership and Publications Coordinator, Adela, will help you as soon as possible.

 

For more information, please contact the National Office through one of the methods below:

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
203-4920 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M9A 1B7
Tel: 416-924-7973/1-888-924-7272 (toll-free)
Email: mempub@rasc.ca

Author: 
WMacDonald
Last modified: 
Friday, February 5, 2021 - 1:50am