The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Vancouver Centre (founded in 1931) is a charitable society whose purpose is to advance education in astronomy and allied sciences by providing presentations, workshops, seminars, and outreach programs.
We are a center in national society founded in 1868 with 29 Centres across Canada. We are Canada’s leading astronomy organization bringing together over 5,000 enthusiastic amateurs, educators, and professionals. We are also a charity at the national level – see www.rasc.ca
Come meet us at our public events (always free) including
- Monthly lectures @ 7:30 pm on the second Thursday of each month at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Burnaby Mountain campus. The meetings are usually held in Saywell Hall which is north of the Observatory as seen on this map of SFU.
- Local and international scientists, university professors, professional astronomers, RASC members
- If the weather is good, the SFU Trottier Observatory is open for observing after the talk
- Members’ meeting is held before the talk starts
- Annual Paul Sykes lecture (January) – every year a high-profile and often international speaker is invited
- Annual International Astronomy Day celebration in conjunction with SFU’s Science Rendezvous (May) – fun activities & displays, short lectures, solar observing, prizes
- Observing and astronomy-focused events in partnership with Metro Parks
- Night Quest at Pacific Spirit Park (March)
- Solar observing at Campbell Valley Regional Park (July)
- Perseid Meteor Shower Watch at Aldergrove Regional Park (August)
- Starry Nights at Deas Island Regional Park (August)
- “Sidewalk Astronomy” around Metro Vancouver and “Starry Nights” at the SFU Trottier Observatory – weather-dependent observing events
For event notifications, find us on social media:
Many of our members also participate every year in the annual Mt. Kobau & Merritt “star parties” (August & September) – camping with a telescope in a dark-sky area for up to a week and observing nightly. Anybody can attend, however RASC does not offer any support for organizing your trip. Go to www.mksp.ca and www.merrittastronomical.com for more information.
Our educational outreach activities include:
- Education and instruction on astronomy for groups like Brownies, Beavers, Guides, and Scouts of the Metro Vancouver area
- Annual educational seminar at a leadership training weekend called Scouting Skills, where scout leaders are taught astronomy curriculum as well as how to teach it to children
- Educational programs at elementary schools and high schools for those Grades whose curriculum includes a space/astronomy component, e.g.:
- Annual Night of Science and Science Fair at Pleasantside Elementary School in Port Moody
- Annual Science Bash at the Brighouse Library in Richmond
- Educational lectures to the residents of the Honoria Conway Seniors Home
- Displays & talks at various space/astronomy-themed Science World programs (e.g. SWEET: Science World Extravagant Evenings for Teen)
We publish a freely-available bimonthly centre newsletter, NOVA
- Six times a year, on the odd months – read electronically or pick up a printed version of the latest edition at the monthly meetings
- Entirely from council & regular members contributions
- Articles about past and future events
- Timely articles on general astronomy
- Tips on observing techniques or building equipment
- Buy/sell ads for telescopes and related equipment
- Members’ astrophotography gallery
We have two observatories:
- NEW! Partnership with SFU’s Trottier Observatory, opened in 2015
- The Antony Overton Memorial Observatory (AOMO) – currently under repair
- Members can volunteer and receive training on both Observatories
- Members can pursue astronomy projects on the observatory telescopes – by application
RASC Vancouver members also have access to our centre’s library and telescope loaner program.
Want to be a part of it all? Become a member and enjoy the benefits!
Already a member? Visit the members’ page to see how make the most of your membership.
Got questions? Contact us!