Annual General Meeting and Dinner 2009

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Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
Victoria Centre

Annual General Meeting and Dinner

Saturday, November 14, 2008
to be held at the Gorge Vale Golf Club
1005 Craigflower Road, Victoria, BC


Celebrating 400 years of the telescope with the first image of another Solar System - Dr. Christian Marois, HIA

Are there Earth-like planets orbiting other stars? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Humanity has been waiting for more than 2,000 years for an answer to these questions. With his invention, the telescope, Galileo Galilei saw for the first time another "mini" planetary system - it was Jupiter and its moons. After 400 years of technological achievements, we now have large enough telescopes and good enough instruments to directly image planets orbiting other stars.

For the past 8 years, my team and I have been using the world's biggest telescopes to search for planets orbiting nearby young stars. I will describe the path that we have followed that led, in 2008, to a breakthrough discovery - the first images of a multi-planet system. This three Jupiter-like planets system, called HR 8799bcd, is located 130 light years from Earth. This detection marks a crucial first step in the ultimate quest of finding a life-sustaining Earth-like planet orbiting another star.


Bio: Dr Marois completed his Ph.D. at the Universit� de Montr�al in 2004. The main topic of his thesis work was speckle/noise suppression for direct exoplanet imaging using advance image processing techniques. After completing his first postdoctoral project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and a brief research assignment at the University of California Berkeley late 2007, he became a research associate early 2008 at the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. He now splits his research time between developing the next generation exoplanet imager, the Gemini Planet Imager, and pursuing an exoplanet imaging survey using currently available instruments. In 2008, Dr Marois led the team that took the first image of another planetary system, the HR 8799bcd three planets system. This achievement was selected as the runner-up for best scientific discovery of 2008 by the prestigious Science magazine. Dr Marois and his Canadian collaborators were also named the "2008 scientist of the year", a distinction given annually by the French CBC station.


  1. Call to order

  2. Minutes of 2008 Annual General Meeting (Members Only)

  3. Secretary�s Annual Report (Members Only)
  4. 2009 Financial Report (335kb) (Members Only)

  5. National Representative Report

  6. President's Message

  7. Awards

    1. Volunteer Appreciation Certificates - Garry Sedun, Lauri Roche, Natasha van Bentum, Joe Carr, Sherry Buttnor, Sid Sidhu

    2. Excellence in Astrophotography - Charles Banville

    3. Newton-Ball Award - Scott Mair

  8. Election of officers - incumbents all elected by acclamation; all officers retain current positions

  9. Motion - create an Associate Membership for Victoria Centre - carried unanimously

  10. New business from the floor - none

  11. Door Prizes - awarded

  12. Adjournment

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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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