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

  • At least two 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 Prize - each month we hold a draw and give away several astronomy-themed prizes to lucky winners. The draw is open to everyone 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 run from 8 to 10 pm.

  • Next meeting: Sept 5
  • Oct 3
  • Nov 7
  • Dec 5


  • Jan 9 (2nd Friday of the month)
  • Feb 6
  • Mar 6
  • Apr 10 (2nd Friday of the month)
  • May 1
  • June 5
  • July 3.

Meeting Agendas

Friday Sept 5:


1. Impact Craters on our planet, how do we identify them? Hint, not by looking for circular structures. Here are two structures that are circular (sort of), which one is the result of a cosmic impact?

Presentation by Ottawa RASC member and terrestrial (for now anyway) impact crater explorer Chuck O'Dale.

2. Historical Figures in Astronomy. Kristian Birkeland was a Norwegian scientist who was the first to scientifically explain the Aurora Borealis. Come take a journey back in time to the early 1900's to learn how Birkeland risked life and limb to discover the secrets of the Northern Lights!

Ottawa RASC member Carmen Rush is back with another talk in her series on historical figures in astronomy. Join Carmen as she presents another spellbinding account of the scientists that helped advance modern astronomy.

Kristian Birkeland 1.jpg

Friday October 3:

1. Voyage to Mars. It finally happened. Our intrepid planetary geologist Simon Hanmer has travelled to Mars. We all knew he would eventually make it to Mars. With his usual infectious enthusiasm, Simon will share an account of his trip to Mars! (30 minute presentation).

2. Egyptian Pyramid Alignment. Many questions are raised when a visitor first encounters the ancient Egyptian pyramids ... how could something so immense be constructed? ... what tools were used? ... how could they built to last several millennia? One lesser known fact about the great pyramids of Egypt is that they are aligned with near perfect accuracy to the cardinal directions (north, south, east, west). In one case, the side of a pyramid is aligned to less than 3 arcminutes to the North-South direction! Theories have emerged that try to explain how the pyramids could be engineered with such accuracy - some border on science fiction. Ottawa RASC Centre Mike Moghadam shares his findings from a review of research including one very intriguing theory that states that the answer might be in the sky above us (20 minutes).

Pyramid alignment.png

Friday November 7:

The agenda for the November meeting will be posted soon.

Meeting Location and Admission

Meetings are typically held in the main auditorium of the Canadian Science and Technology Museum. Address is: 1867 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario.

Directions to the museum are available here.

Admission to RASC meetings is free. Meetings are open to everyone. You do not have to be a RASC member to attend. Please note that during meetings the rest of the museum is closed.

Please note that there is a $3 charge for parking at the museum during the meetings. Please buy the parking passes at the automated pay stations and post the pass on your car dashboard in a visible location.

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!
  • Members are invited to deliver presentations on subjects of interest at the meetings. A presenter's guide is available here.
  • The Helen Sawyer Hogg observatory is located on the grounds of the museum, and contains a classic 15-inch refracting telescope. The observatory and telescope are open to the general public after some of the meetings (weather permitting).

Meeting Agenda Archives

Past meeting agendas are posted here.

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