AstroNotes 2016 November Vol: 55 issue 10

Announcements . National Update . AGM Notice . Nominations . Bylaw Change . New Centre Website . Next Meeting . Centre Information



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The Newsletter of the Ottawa Centre, RASC

Volume 55 - No 10 - November 2016


Wanted: New Meeting Chairperson.

As most members know, our stellar meeting chair Roman Dzioba is leaving us before the end of his term for more northerly skies. We have lined up a couple of stalwart volunteers to handle the remaining meetings this year. For 2017 the position is open! If you enjoy recruiting speakers, setting meeting programmes, being the point of contact for members wishing to make presentations, and of course holding a starring role behind the podium, this could be you. You will also be a member of Centre Council, and as such entitled to all the perks and privileges attaining (namely, coffee and cookies at the council meetings!!!). If you are interested in holding, or even sharing, this position please contact Gordon Webster asap.

Council Nominations: Please note that ALL other elected and appointed council positions are open to volunteers/nominations each year. For a complete list of positions and their current holders, see the Centre Info section on the last page of this newsletter.

Annual Dinner Meeting: to be held at Algonquin College beginning at 6 pm on November 18. The guest speaker will be Dr. Gordon Osinski, Associate Professor & NSERC/MDA/CSA Industrial Research Chair in Planetary Geology at Western University. For tickets ($45), email Tim Cole or see him at the meeting. BTW, we are now able to accept credit cards, with a surcharge of $1.25.

To better mesh with the national site at and for smoother 2017 GA operations, we have set up a new website at, which is being designed and built by Stuart. Thanks to former webmaster Chuck O’Dale, the old site at will remain operational, though not updated, for some time until all content has been transferred. See Stuart’s article in this issue for more information.

National Update

Nominations for Society Awards are being accepted until December 31. For details see this month’s Bulletin.

New Observing Certificate: Explore the Moon. It is ideal for beginning observers who are just learning about telescopes and binoculars, by providing experience with an easy object — the Moon. Find details here.

Annual General Meeting and Elections

By Chris Teron, Centre Secretary

Notice is hereby given to all members of the RASC Ottawa Centre that the Annual Meeting will be held at 7:30pm on December 2, 2016 at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum as part of the regular monthly Centre meeting. The following business will be conducted:

(1) consideration and approval of the agenda for the meeting;
(2) consideration and approval of the minutes of the last annual meeting;
(3) consideration and approval of the reports of the Council, the officers of the Centre, and the committees of the Council, and presentation and adoption of the financial statements;
(4) presentation of the “Paul Comision Observer of the Year”, “Best AstroNotes Article of the Year” award and Best Presentation of the Year;
(5) consideration and approval of an amendment to the Centre’s By-laws by a special resolution of the Centre;
(6) election of Officers, Councillors, National Council Representatives and Centre Meeting Chair of the Centre;
(7) election of the auditor of the Centre as prescribed in Article 11.01; and
(8) other business.

Report of the Nominating Committee

Elections for various executive and council positions in the Ottawa Centre for 2017 will be held during the December 2, 2016 RASC Ottawa Annual General Meeting at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Nominations have been received from the Nominating Committee, led by Past President Gary Boyle and other members, for the following slate of candidates (* indicates an incumbent):

President: Tim Cole
Vice-President: Mike Moghadam
Secretary: Chris Teron*
Treasurer: Oscar Echeverri*
Centre Meeting Chair: Open
3 Councillors: Yves Demers*, Carmen Rush*, Stephen Nourse*
2 National Council Representatives: Brian McCullough, Robert Dick
Past President: Gordon Webster

Additional nominations will be accepted for any position. Nominees must be members in good standing. National Representatives must be at least 21 years of age. Nominations must be made in writing by at least two other members and received by Chris Teron ( by
8:00pm on November 26, 2016.

Proposed Revision to Bylaws

The current bylaws permit the Council to appoint officers to perform specific duties but require approval of two-thirds of the members attending a meeting of members to remove such an officer. The proposed change gives Council the right to remove an officer whom it has appointed.

It is proposed to delete section 8.20 (Removal From Office), which reads:

“An elected officer and Director, councillor, National Council Representative, or appointed officer may be removed from office by special resolution of the Centre. Any such person whom it is proposed to remove from office is entitled to receive notice of the meeting at which such removal shall be proposed and of the intention to propose such removal, and to make representations on his or her behalf at the meeting of the Centre at which the vote is held.”

and replace it with:

“An elected officer and Director, Councillor, or National Council Representative may be removed from office by special resolution of the Centre. Any such person whom it is proposed to remove from office is entitled to receive notice of the meeting at which such removal shall be proposed and of the intention to propose such removal, and to make representations on his or her behalf at the meeting of the Centre at which the vote is held. An appointed officer may be removed from office by a special resolution of the Council.”

A full copy of the current bylaws may be obtained from the Secretary or found here .

New Ottawa Centre Website

By Stuart Glen

Hello folks - I’d like to give you a brief overview of our new website and solicit your assistance in completing it. I have some experience designing and building web sites, but our new content management system (Drupal) is new to me so I have a steep learning curve to contend with as well. I must be updating our site at near-light speed since the rate of change to outside observers is almost infinitely slow!

My philosophy on designing web sites is that there are three key areas to nail down first - 1) the visual look and feel; 2) home page design); and 3) the menu structure - since this defines the extent of the site and neatly summarizes what information will be presented. With respect to our new site, first drafts of the first two are in place. It is with the third area, though, that I seek assistance. As a work-in-progress, I’ve settled on the following menu structure:

Who We Are
History of Ottawa Centre
Stan Mott Book Library
Ted Bean Loan Library
Centre Observatories
Service Awards
Observing Sites [both local and regional]
What We Do
Meetings [including current and archived meeting videos]
o Public Star Parties
o Special Events
 Transit of Mercury
2017 General Assembly
Light Pollution Awareness [or Abatement]
Join Us!
Membership Benefits

The concrete has not yet been poured on this and I am always very open to suggestion/menacing threats, but I hope this is a good overview of ‘us’. For those who spy their pet projects buried inside a menu somewhere – fret not, there is a Quick Links menu on the home page that will speed visitors to specific destinations. (Note there is an administration fee of one Timbit per link...*discreet cough*).

As a relative newcomer to the Centre, my direct knowledge of events does not stretch very far back in time. That is where I hope for some assistance. For example, rather than simply list the contents of the Stan Mott Book Library or the Ted Bean Telescope Loan Library - I would love to include brief biographies of these gentlemen (and Fred Lossing also), complete with a picture or two. Incidentally, Karen Finstad is currently preparing an updated history of the Ottawa Centre, in time for the 2017 GA, so this type of information will be useful to her as well.

A determined search of our Centre archives is planned, but personal recollections will be more valuable. So, rather than accost you all individually at each RASC meeting, I’ve decided to ask for help here and would appreciate any info you can supply on the following (in addition to the three bios above):

A list of local and regional observing sites. (Only public ones will be visible to the general public, private ones will only be seen by RASC members in good standing). Pictures, pictures, pictures. Pictures showing us doing the biz - educating, presenting, viewing, having fun together. Transit of Mercury pictures, and pictures from any other special events over the years. [Note - pictures of *us*, more than astronomical images.]

General recollections and publications dealing with the history of Ottawa Centre.

Anyone who can help please feel free to contact me directly at:

Finally, if someone versed in Drupal is hankering for some free Timmie’s treats, I’d appreciate the opportunity to meet and pick up a few tips.
Thank you!

Next Meeting

7:30 PM Friday Nov 4, 2016 at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (directions). Note there is a $3 parking fee for museum parking.


Simon Hanmer - Lunar Cataclysm - The Late Heavy Bombardment
Paul Klauninger - The Abell Cluster
Gordon Webster - Spectroscopy
Gordon Webster - Notice for the December AGM and nominations update

If you cannot attend in person, follow the proceedings over our live stream here.
PLUS: all our regular meeting features: Ottawa Skies, 10-minute Astronomy, Observer Reports, and of course, the beloved Door Prize!

Centre Information

General enquiries:

The Ottawa Centre 2016 Council

President: Gordon Webster (
Vice President: Tim Cole
Secretary: Chris Teron (
Treasurer: Oscar Echeverri
Centre Meeting Chair: Open
Councilors: Yves Demers, Stephen Nourse, Carmen Rush
National Council Representatives: Brian McCullough, Robert Dick
Past President: Gary Boyle

2016 Appointed Positions

Membership: Art Fraser
Fred Lossing Observatory Director: Ron St. Martin
Smart Scope Director: Open
Hospitality: Art & Anne Fraser
Stan Mott Library: Estelle Rother
Ted Bean Telescope Library: Al Scott
Webmaster: Stuart Glen
AstroNotes Editors: Karen Finstad & Janet Tulloch (