Ottawa RASC Meetings
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.
Regular features of the Meetings
- 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 for 2014
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: April 4
- May 2
- June 6
- July 4
- Aug 8 (Note: This is the 2nd Friday of August)
Friday March 7: *** An RASC Ottawa Centre Special Evening ***
** IMPORTANT NOTE **: Seating is limited at this special event. Advance seat registration is required for non-RASC members. Please mouse-click here to register and obtain tickets to the March 7th meeting. Tickets are free.
- Astronomical Maps and Tables from Ancient Egyptian Tombs and Temples
Sarah Symons, McMaster University
The RASC Ottawa Centre is pleased to offer a special presentation on ancient Egyptian astronomy by Dr Sarah Symons, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University.
In classical antiquity, Egypt was believed to possess vast astronomical knowledge. What did the pharaonic civilisation leave behind as evidence for this reputation? Sarah Symons describes some of the earliest written records of star movements and explains the “star maps” still visible in the Valley of the Kings today. She also outlines some of the open questions in the field and recent advances in our understanding of astronomical tables from 2000 BC.
Dr Symons studies hieroglyphs, astronomical tables, depictions of the sky that are written on the ceilings of temples and tombs and various ancient astronomical instruments. She is fascinated by how ancient Egyptians were able to construct "star clocks" which charted the positions of constellations throughout the year. She is particularly interested in trying to deduce the way these star clocks were developed and the observational methods used to construct them.
2. Growing Old Polygonally. Popularly, lunar impact craters are seen as circular in outline. In fact, more than 20% are polygonal and many of them are perfectly hexagonal. What could account for this shape? Simon Hanmer will propose an explanation using extraordinary images provided by Mike Wirths, arguably one of the finest lunar astrophotographers on the planet. This 25 minute presentation is aimed at backyard observers, to encourage them to "see" the Moon when they "look" at it.
Friday April 4:
- An Introduction to Solar Observing. Ken Whitnall. A basic discussion on solar observing using safe and inexpensive solar filters that can be used with your existing telescope. Don't pack up your telescope just because the Sun came up, experience the dynamic and exciting activity that can be seen on our closest star. (20 minutes)
2. Exoplanet Hunting Trials and Tribulations. Bob Hillier will share his experiences to date on his search for planets in other solar systems. (15 minutes)
3. An Ancient View on Comets. John Wayne Ross, the winner of the 2013 Ottawa RASC Presentation of Year award, is back with another presentation guaranteed to be just as captivating. An overview of his presentation 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.
- 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.