Ottawa RASC Meetings

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Public Astronomy Meetings ... Fascinating topics, Fascinating people

If you love Astronomy then you have come to the right place! Every month the Ottawa Centre of the RASC hosts a free astronomy meeting that is open to everyone.  Each meeting is packed with interesting speakers addressing a range of astronomy topics well suited to the amateur astronomer and enthusiast.

Do you have an interest in astronomy but don't know where to start?   Come to our meetings. They are a great place to get connected to the amateur astronomy community in Ottawa and start your journey of learning and discovery.

Already deeply in to astronomy? Perfect - you will find many like-minded people with your level of experience who share your passion for the night sky.

Meeting Features

  • Several interesting speakers!
  • The Sky this Month - a 10 minute overview of interesting things in the night sky in the coming month.
  • 10 Minute Astronomy - A short review of current astronomy news.
  • Member photos - come enjoy the beautiful gallery of astronomy images taken by our members.
  • Door Prizes - each month we hold a draw and give away several astronomy-themed prizes to lucky winners. The draw is open to everyone who attends the meeting and is free.
  • Announcements on free public outreach and recreational astronomy events in Ottawa.

Meeting Schedule

Meetings are scheduled each month typically, but not always, on the first Friday of every month.

The meetings start at 7:30 pm and run until 9:30pm.


  • Oct 2
  • Nov 6
  • Dec 4

Meeting Agendas

Friday October 2nd: ** An RASC Ottawa Centre Special Event **

1. Atchakosuk* (The Stars) by Wilfred Buck

  • pronounced “at-cha-ko-suk”

The RASC Ottawa Centre is pleased to welcome Wilfred Buck, an astronomy education specialist from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Mr Buck has delivered numerous talks across Canada on traditional First Nations astronomy. Please join us for this free astronomy talk.

This presentation will give participants the opportunity to learn about the sky from a different perspective other than the traditional Roman-Greek Mythology. It will focus on traditional Ininew (Cree) constellations and will explore the origins of Ininew mythology.

Participants will hear about how “ah-tim“ (the dog) came to the people, as well as other Ininew mythologies. The Atchak Sipi (river of spirits) will be a central topic in this presentation. The River Of Spirits is one of the names the Cree have for the Milky Way.

The presentation will be accompanied with songs and Ininew teachings.

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Wilfred Buck 1.png

Wilfred Buck.jpg

Wilfred Buck

Wilfred Buck is an educator from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. For the past nine years he has been working with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. His specialty is astronomy education and he has travelled throughout Manitoba to rural and urban schools with a portable planetarium.

Mr Buck is an advocate of “two-eyed seeing”, a view that learning is optimal when it is accomplished with two eyes: Seeing with one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledge and seeing with another eye with the strengths of Western knowledge.

Mr Buck received his Bachelor and Masters of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba.

2. 2015 Perseid Meteor Shower Report by Pierre Martin

Ottawa RASC member Pierre Martin is widely known for his interest in meteor showers. His images are regularly featured in astronomy publications. His annual talk at the RASC is informative and a MUST-SEE event.

Perseid report.png

Friday November 6: ** An RASC Ottawa Centre Special Event **

1. Three Roads to Dark Matter by Ivan Semeniuk

The Ottawa Centre is pleased to welcome Ivan Semeniuk, an award-winning science journalist and broadcaster.
Over four fifths of the matter in the universe is an unseen, unidentified substance known as dark matter. Discovered by astronomers in the 20th Century, dark matter has become a focal point for experimental physicists in the 21st Century. Scientists are now closing in on the elusive stuff with major experiments underway on three fronts -- in space, in deep underground laboratories, and in the heart of the world's largest particle accelerator. The coming 18 months are expected to be crucial because it is a period during which dark matter will either be found, or a range of possible explanations will be eliminated.

Ivan Semeniuk.png

Ivan Semeniuk is the national science correspondent for The Globe and Mail where he currently reports on all areas of science and science policy. He is the writer and host of OASIS channel's astronomy series Cosmic Vistas. A long time science journalist and broadcaster in Canada and the US, Ivan Semeniuk has served as Nature's Chief of Correspondents in Washington DC, bureau chief for New Scientist magazine in Boston and has been a field producer with Discovery Channel's science show Daily Planet. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2007-2008 and journalist in residence at the University of Toronto's Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2009-2010. In May he was awarded the 2015 Sanofi Pasteur Medal of Excellence in Health Research Journalism.

2. A Visit to the Algonquin Park Radio Observatory by Dave Chisholm

Dave Chisholm, Ottawa RASC Member, and the rest of his family had a family reunion at the Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) in mid-August almost 50 years after his father, a Radio Astronomer, first worked on ARO. They were joined by members of the Toronto Chapter of RASC.

This will be a short presentation on one of the larger radio telescopes in the northern hemisphere. It will include some amazing images captured by Toronto RASC members in the very dark skies of northern Algonquin Park.

Algonquin Radio Observatory.jpg Dave Chisholm.jpg

Meeting Location and Admission

Our meetings are held in the main auditorium of the Canada Aviation and Space Museumlocated here. There is a $3 parking fee for museum parking.

Other Information

  • Did you miss a meeting? Perhaps you can't attend because of another commitment? No problem - our meetings are now broadcast live over the Internet and also recorded. Click here to watch current and previously recorded meetings!
    A higher quality video of the meeting is also posted on YouTube approximately three weeks after the meeting. Click here to find it and links to earlier meetings.
  • Members are invited to deliver presentations on subjects of interest at the meetings. A presenter's guide is available here.

Meeting Agenda Archives:


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