Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

RASC Victoria Centre wordmark

Victoria Centre is part of the national Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which is dedicated to bringing information about astronomy to the general public.

Advanced Search



December 2004

Scott Mair

When you become a new member of the RASC - Victoria Centre�s Council the other council members don�t waste anytime putting you to work. You may not know what you�re doing, but it�s into the �deep end� you go.

And so it was for me � the first monthly meeting has been hosted, the first council meeting has been scheduled and now I�m charged with penning the President�s Message without really knowing what I�m talking about (my friends will confirm that this is my usual state of affairs).

While I was listening to Doug Johnstone�s excellent talk on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at our December meeting I kept thinking about what a remarkable thing it was to have a professional astronomer talking about his cutting edge research with the largest sub-millimetre telescope in the world at the meeting of our little astronomy club in sleepy Victoria.

Amazingly, this is not an unusual thing for our Centre: next month JJ Kavelaars, one of the premier moon hunters on the planet, will be our speaker; last month Sara Ellison gave us the inside scoop about working the European Southern Observatory�s four, 8 metre telescopes and Jon Willis shared his work on the site selection process for ALMA, which will revolutionize radio astronomy in the decades ahead; the previous month Jaymie Matthews shared the success of Canada�s �humble telescope�, MOST, with RASC members before the rest of Victoria.

It made me think about how lucky I am to be part of the amateur astronomy community here. The conditions that prompted JS Plaskett to select Victoria as location for the DAO make for good observing even in my backyard. The placement of the DAO in Victoria has spawned a thriving professional community at UVic and HIA; communities that our Centre has developed a close, supportive relationship with.

In turn, we have one of the most dynamic amateur astronomy associations in the country, which benefits the community at large though the wide range of outreach programs we offer: our hugely successful Astronomy Day Celebrations, and school programs coordinated by Sid Sidhu; our annual star party coordinated by Rich Willis; sidewalk astronomy coordinated by Blaire Pellatt; the speaker series at our regular meetings and Astronomy Cafe coordinated by Bruno Quenneville; our excellent website hosted by Joe Carr and newsletter edited by Sandy Barta; and the rewarding observing partnerships we maintain with Person College and the Center of the Universe.

Of course, our successes today are built upon the foundation laid by our long-time members, and we see the next generation of amateur astronomers that will take our place lining up at our telescopes at each public event we offer.

For now, it is our turn. We make the Centre what it is. What do you want it to be? I look forward to working with each of you in the coming year and encourage you to be involved in your centre as much as you can. If you have any issues, ideas, questions, or concerns please feel free to contact me.


� 2010 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Victoria Centre
All text and images are Copyright their respective owners
Victoria Centre adheres to our National Privacy Policy
Website: - Contact us -
Victoria Centre Council
RASC Victoria Centre does not endorse nor is responsible for the content of external websites. External links will open in a new window.
Last updated: February 26, 2010

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is dedicated to the promotion of astronomy and its related sciences; we espouse the scientific method, and support dissemination of discoveries and theories based on that well-tested method.

Welcome to our website!
We would very much appreciate your feedback to
Victoria Centre Council

We are on Facebook

Web hosting & email services donated by
JoeTourist InfoSystems