A Shared Sky: the RASC 1868-2018

RASC—Eyes on the Universe for 150 Years


RASC 2018—A Shared Sky: the RASC 1868-2018

(aka RASC 2018—the history book).

How well do we know ourselves? Viewing our past enables us to see the foundations upon which the modern RASC is constructed, and to build for the future. The better we know the nature, variety, and range of the astronomy experienced within the RASC across time, the better we can know ourselves, and the possibilities for renewal and innovation. Significant anniversaries can provide significant opportunities for reflection, and reassessment. They can also spur new efforts to bring to light stories previously unknown, to complete stories only partially known, and to discern what we've missed in stories we thought we thoroughly knew.


This RASC 2018 initiative aims to celebrate our century and a half of engagement with the heavens, through a fresh look at our history. The results of this project will be presented in two stages. The first stage will  occur at the RASC General Assembly (GA) to be held in Calgary in 2018. It will consist of a symposium spread over the first, and last days of the GA. The invited speakers will present the results of commissioned research on aspects of the RASC's astronomical history, and heritage, through oral presentations, a panel discussion, and interaction with GA attendees. The second stage will be the publication of the results of this research in a multi-contributor edited book, to appear in 2019. This will be one of the chief legacy projects of RASC 2018.

Topics include*:

  • An Anthropologist Looks at the RASC
  • Shapers of the tradition I: C.A. Chant and the RASC
  • Shapers of the tradition II: J.S. Plaskett and the RASC
  • Shapers of the tradition III: Helen Hogg and the RASC
  • Styles of Observing SInce 1868
  • RASC Astrophotography, from Wet Collodion Plate to CCD
  • Astronomical Expeditions: the RASC in Travelling Mode
  • Education and Public Outreach in Canada Since 1868
  • Pro-Am Collaboration through the RASC
  • The RASC Contribution to Meteoritics
  • Pushing Glass, Writing Code: RASC ATMs
  • RASC—Participants and Spectators of the Space Age
  • The RASC as a Publisher of Astronomy
  • The RASC & CASCA
  • The RASC Viewed from Outside Canada
  • Gender, the RASC, and Astronomy
  • The RASC Doing History


Back of a menu card from 1924 August 13, autographed by the great & the good of astronomy, Hart House, Toronto

For more information, please contact: randall.rosenfeld <at> utoronto.ca

*subject to change
Last modified: 
Sunday, February 4, 2018 - 8:49pm