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Annual Report 2006

Reports of the Kingston Centre Executive and Committee Chairs

President | Secretary | Treasurer | Website | Responsible Lighting

Agenda of Annual Meeting 2006 November 10

Stirling Hall Theatre A, Baader Lane, Kingston, Ontario.
7:30-8:00 p.m.

Approval of Agenda

Approval of 2005 Annual Meeting Minutes

Reports of the President, Secretary, Treasurer
Approved by Membership

Reports of Committees

Centre Elections:

President- 1 year for 2006-2007
VP- 1 year for 2006-2007
Treasurer- 1 year for 2006-2007

Secretary- 2 years (2006-2008)
Editor- 2 years (2006-2008)
Librarian- 2 years (2006-2008)
National Council Rep- 2 years (2006-2008)

Election of Auditor
Approved by the Membership

Other Business


Kim Hay

This report was also printed in Regulus, 2006 November, page 2.

It's amazing how time flies when you have fun. We have passed another year, and our elections are upon us again, on Friday November 10. So come out and vote for those you wish to help guide the Centre and make it the Centre you the member wants.

It takes a good team to work together to make our Centre work. That's right Our Centre. Everyone of you is an active participant in what we do for the centre. Though some of our members are quiet and we don't hear from you, we would like too.

Over the past year, the Centre has become incorporated, one-step closer to achieving our longer range goals of land or an observatory, for our members. We have applied for our Federal Non-Profit Taxation number, so we can be able to apply for grants to help bring astronomy to the public in either a program, accessibility to all members or possibly new equipment for the public and our members. We also have a 5 year Strategic Plan in place which will be reviewed annually.

We have had great participation in our Astronomy Day, Relay for Life, Sky is the Limit Festival. The Fall 'N' Stars 2006 Star party, which was co-hosted with the RASCBelleville Centre and new on board this year was the Peterborough Astronomical Association. It was a great success despite the rain, we had brief moments of observing, a book auction, a new photo contest, but most of all got to be with great people and make new friends.

We had another successful year with Queen's in running the KAON (Kingston Astronomy Outreach Network) on the 2nd Saturday of every month at Ellis Hall. Thanks go out to all our members (Hank Bartlett, Norm Welbanks, Steve Hart, Susan Gagnon, Ken Kingdon, Steve Manders, Kevin Kell, and Kim Hay..if I have missed anyone, I apologize, but your helping us is greatly appreciated). Terry Bridges who is the Observatory Coordinator, had many undergrad students helping him this year, to help bring astronomy to the public. We introduced talks being shared by both sides this year, and had a wide variety of topics to share. We had many members of the RASC Kingston Centre come out with scope in hand to help set up and show the heavens to the public and talk one on one when the questions were asked.

We have two new Telescope projects under way. The 40 cm (16 ") mirror is being worked on by the revived ATM group, and we have a new Observatory Team working on the new RoboDome project. This team will also be gathering important information needed to move towards either leasing or purchasing land, and what the Centre needs to bring the Observatory to the Kingston Centre, so that it is a member used facility. I am sure they would like to hear what you think the Observatory would need, so these ideas can be worked into the future plans of the Observatory.

We are just finishing up the 3rd Observational Astronomy Course for the Beginners that has been run by our past teachers and helpers, Kevin Kell, Doug Angle, Peggy Hurley, Susan Gagnon, Steve Hart, Hank Bartlett and Kim Hay.

Ken Kingdon, our Observing Chair has had to dodge the clouds many times this year, to produce the Members Observing Schedule. Ken introduced the 2 week floating schedule for observing this year, and on the most part observing was done, but sometimes Mother Nature does not co-operate. The Members have mainly gone to Lemoine Point, but had side trips to Arden and a planned trip to the area called Nirvana, but this was foiled by Mother Nature.

We have had great speakers all year with the work being done by Arlyne Gillespie, our Vice President.

There is lots of work on the administrative side that goes on to bring our Centre together. Steve Hart, our Secretary who looks after the paperwork administration, Kevin Kell, the Treasurer who has worked hard this year to make sure we all stayed in our budgets. Doug Angle our Editor for Regulus, who has produced the newsletter in both paper and web versions for the past two years. David Maguire, our Librarian who has brought books to our meetings that many have signed out, and has just acquired many new books that will come to the meetings to read and be shared by our members.

The members who have contributed to our draws every month, Hank & Di Bartlett, Tessa Clarke, John Pilon, Starlight Cascade Observatory, thank you so much, for without your generous donations, the Annual Banquet would not be as such a great success as it always is. Thanks to Diane Torney for the banquet, and Ruth Hicks for the goodies at Astronomy Day and Sky is the Limit Festival.

I just want to thank, everyone on the Board/Executive, the Committee's, the members who come out and help at all our events, the members who come to the meetings and enjoy themselves, and we would like to hear from all our members by phone, or email or drop us a line by pen and paper.

We do all of this for you, our members, for the love of Astronomy and the friendships we develop, thank you all.


We currently have a total of 127 Society members: 115 Ordinary members, 3 Youth members and 9 Life members. As well, we have 2 Associate members and 1 Affiliate.

Regular Meetings were held on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre A or D, Stirling Hall, Queen's University.

January 13 Walter MacDonald, "A Dome on a Home: The story of Winchester Observatory."
February 10 Members' night featuring short presentations by Diane Torney, Doug Angle, Joseph Benderavage, Kevin Kell.
March 10 Dr. Bryce Bennett, "Copernicus, Keplar, and the Myster of the Analemma"
April 14 Peter McMahon, "Marshmallows on Venus: A backpacker's guide to wilderness stargazing. (We also held a Special Meeting to approve updated RASC-KC By-Laws.)
May 12 James Silvester, "Solar Astronomy and the Pic du Midi observatory"
June 9 Dr. Douglas Welch, "Revolutions Amateur and Professional Optical Astronomy in the 21st Century"
July 14 Guy Nason, "IOTA: the International Occultation Timing Association" (held in Chernoff Hall Auditorium)
August 11 Annual "MarkFest" BBQ at Mark Kaye's.
September 8 Members' night featuring short presentations by Hank Bartlett, Kevin Kell, Guy Nason, Doug Angle, Ken Kingdon, Brian Hunter, Leslie Roberts.
October 13 Members' night featuring short presentations by Brian Hunter, Ken Kingdon, Leo Enright, Kevin Kell, Steve Manders.
November 4 "Big-Bang-Quet" Annual Awards Banquet: Dr. Ross Kilpatrick, "Gustav Klimt and the Stars: A Dionysian Iconography for The Kiss"
November 10 Annual General Meeting
December 8 David Kirsh, "Extra-Solar Planets: From Formation to Detection"

Along with Astronomy Day, in 2006 the Kingston Centre offered displays and public observing at two charity events: "The Sky is the Limit Festival" and the "Relay for Life." Kingston Centre members held several combined presentations and observing sessions at the Little Cataraqui Conservation Area. Members also gave presentations at several area schools. One Centre member volunteered to act as a judge, and an award and a prize were contributed to the area Science Fair.

Our monthly public observing sessions were held at the Queen's University Observatory, in partnership with the Queen's University Physics Department. We continued scheduling our private observing sessions, at various dark-sky sites, using the "floating date" method.

In 2006, we held two nine-week sessions of our "Observational Astronomy for the Novice" course.

The Fall 'n' Stars 2006 star party, hosted jointly with the RASC Belleville Centre, was a great experience.

In 2006 RASC-KC made an application for Federal Charity Status, but it is still being processed.

Our ATM group has begun work on a 16-inch telescope. Also, the loan of a "RoboDome" has let us begin work on setting-up our Meade LX200 as a Remotely Operated Telescope.

The 2007 Executive for the Centre is: President: Kim Hay; Vice-President: Arlyne Gillespie; Secretary: Steve Hart; Treasurer: Kevin Kell; National Representative: John Hurley; Librarian: David Maguire; Newsletter Editor: Joseph Benderavage

Steve Hart, Secretary


Treasurer's Report 2006 (750k PDF)

Web Operations

See also the Jan 2006 Report: Regulus, 2006 January, page 4.

This year, a new interactive web calendar version 3.04 which has been introduced to the website, as well as an interactive new picture Gallery for members.

The RASC-KC site, is in need of an overhaul with a new layout and design. It needs better navigation, ease of use, and plans are underway in doing so. New web based software is being looked at for future development. The Webmaster looks forward to any suggestions on what might be beneficial to the site and its members, either in content or design layout. You can contact me at kim (at) starlightcascade (dot) ca or at a meeting.

Our current website, which is now totally housed on a server located at Queen's University is over 2.1 gigabytes in size, and growing. Thank you Kevin Kell for hosting the RASC-KC website.

Kim Hay

Responsible Lighting

Chair- Kim Hay
Committee Members- Kevin Kell, Kim Hay

In this past year, the committee has been collecting data on various items, such as pictures on light luminaries in the Kingston and surrounding areas. We also have an ongoing project of dark sky readings using an SQM meter on loan from a member, for various areas where observing has been done, and various Observatories across Canada. A project that was done a few years ago with the Queen's Astronomy/Physics Department is still being analyzed, and we hope to have a report soon.

Lately there has been increased interaction on the National Light Pollution list, which had been asked to be opened up to the other LPA chairs of Centres, and the current LPA chair agreed. This list is moderated by Kim Hay.

There has been contact with the Brockville Chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), which was sparked by a talk given in 2004 on Responsible Lighting and Light Pollution. The talk presented is located on the RASC Kingston Responsible Lighting page. A great triumph for the Brockville Chapter of the CFUW, is that this year at their annual meeting in August, they passed a resolution that all 122 chapters across Canada will be pursuing this cause, and the Regina chapter has already contacted the RASC-Regina Centre for a Light Pollution talk, which will also include the Saskatoon Centre. Sharing this information with the other LPA chairs has helped in knowing how this topic of Light Pollution is an interest in other groups, and how we can combine forces to express our desire to get rid of wasted, trespass, and unwanted light and be more fiscally and ecologically sound. This gives us a chance to save the skies for our future generations.

Also this year we have been contacted by a Queen's University Student's Women's group called STRIVE. There is talk of setting up a talk on Responsible Lighting either this year or early in 2007.

An Sky Quality Meter (SQM) has been ordered for the Centre Loan Program. Plans for 2007 include more letter writing campaigns to the new local and surrounding council's on Responsible Lighting. There will also be a request to the local Engineering Department of the City if we could borrow, or possibly purchase a new Cobra Head flat lens design of a street light to have a demonstration of the older Cobra Heads vs. the new Flat Lens designs.

New flyers and a new information board are also projects for the 2007 year.

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