RASC Regular Meeting
May 11, 2015
The Life and Death of Stars

GM201504 - OrionRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Kaylie Green & Khaled Elshamouty
University of Alberta
The Life and Death of Stars

Stars are the building blocks of our universe. Yet the process of how they are continuously created and destroyed is still not fully understood. In this talk we will explore the process of star formation in nebulae and the striking example of the Orion nebula. Then we will explore the process of how stars end their lives and the possible stellar remnants they leave behind as the stunning case of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant.

Kaylie and Khaled are graduate students in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta and both are members of the University of Alberta Observatory’s education and outreach team. Continue Reading →

Sidewalk Astronomy
The Week of Astronomy Day 2015
April 19 to 25

Members of the public came out for evening viewing on clear nights during the week of Astronomy Day 2015 (April 19th to 25th). They joined our volunteers for Sidewalk Astronomy and enjoying the springtime night sky.

Gazebo Park

Gazebo Park in Old Strathcona, on 83 Avenue between 103 and 104 Street

Saturday, April 25th


Three members were at Gazebo park sharing outstanding lunar viewing with about 80 members of the public. Many people who stopped by remarked on how sharp the Moon looked through the telescope.

Several lunar features were visible through the scopes, including:

  • the craters Hipparcus and Albategnius, first drawn by Galileo in 1609,  standing out along the terminator; and
  • the Caucasus mountain range near the Mare Serenitatis

Another lunar highlight occurred around 9:50pm when the orange star HR 3376, magnitude 6.2, was very near the dark limb of the Moon. At 1o:00pm, HR3376 was occulted by the moon.

The Promenade

The Promenade overlooking Victoria Park, on the south side of 100 Avenue at 118 Street

Thursday, April 23rd


Four members made it out to the Promenade around 9:00pm. They had about 25 to 30 visitors viewing through a 12.5″ and a 5″ scope before almost solid cloud and few passers-by encouraged them to call it a day at 10:30.

The sky was partly cloudy with clear patches–more clear to the north and cloud to south. But there were quite a few good views of the Moon and/or Jupiter.

The seeing wasn’t great, but good enough to could faintly discern the Great Red Spot on Jupiter with the Jovian Moons’ discs fairly obvious at 215x in the 12.5″ scope.

The telescopic view of Earth’s Moon always amazes the general public, with great interest in views of Jupiter and many wows.

Venus was hanging in the West with Aldebaran to its lower left.

It wasn’t too cool, but a breeze necessitated good bit of extra clothing. The clouds posed a bit of a problem, but most visitors hung around for a few minutes or continued their walk returning later to catch a view.

RASC Regular Meeting
April 13, 2015
Member’s Night

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.

7:30 PM Member Presentations

RASC members share their interests, projects, skills and passions.

  • Warren Finlay: Night Sky Paintings
  • Dave Cleary: NRAO Green Bank
  • Ken From: Have Scope – Will Travel
  • Rick Bramm: Lowell Observatory
  • Susan Bramm: The Very Large Array
  • Murray Paulson: March 20, 2015 Solar Eclipse

Awards for 2014
President’s Award for Service to the Centre
Franklin Loehde

2014 President's Service Award - Franklin LoehdeI’m not sure I can say anything we don’t already know about this guy…he’s always around, seemingly at every meeting, every event, everywhere…every time and all of the time…and has been for a very LONG time. Franklin has done everything for the Centre…a multitude of positions, 2 times President, National President, and I think most lengthy and recently, the Fundraising Coordinator since the early 1990s. Franklin has decided to ‘retire’ from Council after many decades effective this month. His knowledge and experience will be missed but hey…I know all 5 of his email addresses and at least 2 different phone numbers…and he’s never far from that damn iphone, so he’s really just a phone call away! He will be around on the QEP committee still, so I’ll still get the chance to rib him about being overly conservative! That said…I have the pleasure of presenting the President’s award for Service to the Centre for 2014 and a hell of a long time prior to that!

Awards for 2014
Observer of the Year Award
Jay Lavender

2014 Observer of the Year - Jay LavenderHe’s one of those guys who has all the time in the world…as long as he doesn’t have to leave the house—or so it seems. His most common mode of observing gives him somewhat better chances of attaining success only having to look at one target during the day. His shots of the sun have successively improved, each showing more of the fine structure. Beyond that he also gets out in the night at many events, to show the wonders of the sky to passers-by. More than just a one trick pony! So, it is my pleasure to award the Observer of the Year for 2014 to Jay Lavender.

Awards for 2014
George Moores Memorial Award for
Excellence in Public Education
Linda Mahoney & Clayton Knoll

2014 George Moores Education - Linda Mahoney, Clayton KnollWe’ve had a number of people stand out in this category over the last year but my mind eventually came to rest on two people that have done substantial work in organizing and/or getting out to many events. These two people stand as great examples of the RASC fulfilling the public education portion of its mandate. Whether it’s an event in the city, just outside of town, or well outside of town, they had their hands up many times to either join or be the lead at the event. It is for these efforts that I award the George Moores Memorial award for Public Education to two deserving members, Linda Mahoney and Clayton Knoll.

Awards for 2013
Observer of the Year Award
Mark Zalcik

2013_observerWe don’t have an observer of the decade award to which he could easily be up for. He runs the noctilucent cloud CanAm network and just last year was recognized for having done so for 25 years. The endless barrage of emails we get on Astro always has me standing out on the balcony or roof and has many others reporting in on their sightings. In fact, a quick search on the web for NLCs had his name in 6 of the first 10 results. Just goes to show what these efforts get you!