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KC Annual Report 2018

Reports of the Kingston Centre Executive and Committee Chairs

President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Auditor
Editor Ast. Day Equipment Loan Fall'N'Stars KAON
OAFTN Relay for Life Responsible Lighting Website NC Rep


  1. Welcome
  2. Presentation of Agenda
  3. Approval of Agenda
  4. Approval of 2017 AGM minutes
  5. Reading of annual reports:
    • President
    • Secretary (report and approval, includes update to the year end.)
    • Treasurer
    • Library
    • NAC Representative
    • Editor
  6. Centre Elections:
    • Secretary
    • Librarian
    • Editor
    • NC Representative
  7. Appointment of Auditor
  8. Adjourn with thanks


The position of Vice President of the Centre under the current Bylaws, is one of the least onerous of the seven positions. The main duties are to attend as many of the Regular Meetings and Board Meetings as possible. If the President (the normal meeting chair) is unavailable, then I would step in to chair the meeting.

Since 2017 November I have attended the following Regular and special Meetings: 2017 December – Christmas Dinner (special), 2018 January, February, March, April (special), May, June, September and November, missing a meeting in October. July and August the Centre holds no Regular Meetings.

I also attended all of the Board Meetings, held on 2018 Feb 8, April 5, June 5, August 14 and November 6. That left plenty of volunteer time leftover, so I assisted in the paper mailing of our Regulus newsletter to those who have requested it, assisted in the maintenance of the Centre website, twitter and facebook accounts as well as the Board shared network drive.

I hold other positions as well, apart from that of the Vice President, including Equipment Coordinator, Commissioner of the Torus, FallNStars Organizing Committee. For those that may think of the VP slot, these responsibilities are not or do not have to be part of the portfolio, but rather are more of a personal volunteer nature.

I would encourage any member to think about this position as an entry level job in the Board of Directors, a great learning experience with not a large number of hours of commitment.

Kevin Kell


Our year started out in Stirling Hall at Queen's University but we moved in September back to D214 Macintosh Corey Hall. RASC Kingston Centre meetings are held the second Thursday of each month.

Our January meeting was with our guest speaker Dr. Jennifer West who is now working at the Dunlap Institute. Jennifer presented to us all things happening in the Radio Astronomy world. All the major Telescopes, Arecibo, Parkes, FAST, CHIME, POSSUM, SKA the list goes on and the introduction of the VLA and the new Telescopes going into Australia (ASKAP) . The main issue if the data collection and storage of the terabytes of data. for more information go to

February was welcomed in with President Rick Wagner welcoming everyone and a list of upcoming events in the night sky. We had past Observatory Coordinator, Dr. Nathalie Oulette (Astrophysicist) who is working with the CPARC( Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre) at Queen's University. She gave a talk on all the divisions that are under this umbrella. This particular group received a large $63.7 million federal government grant investment. Currently Nathalie is working at the Canadian Space Agency as Science Communicator. After the break many members presented images that they had taken over the last few months.

In March we had many members show images and discuss the imaging practices using Pixinsight and other astrophotography programs. Stephen Craig donated a picture for a fund raiser . Jeanette Wagner won the framed picture. We learned that member Ruth Hicks (Life Member) and Terry Hicks are at Rosewood Retirement Home, and both are recuperating well.

The University was using Ellis Hall for exams in April, so interested members still met for dinner , and with the idea of going to Lake Ontario Park for an observing session however this was cancelled due to the weather.

This month also held the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Science Fair on March 30th and 31st. Member Dr. Bruce Elliot who was helping out and also a judge, reported that this year there was no award winner for the Leo Enright Prize ($100.00) and a copy of the Beginners Observing Guide.

We had many interesting talks in May from members ranging from Observatories, Lunar, and Solar Ha imaging. More talks on astronomy software, this month was CalSky. On a sad note we received word that John Crossen of Buckhorn Observatory in Peterborough had passed away. A sympathy card was sent to Debbie (his wife) on behalf of the Centre. Science Rendezvous was held in conjunction with Queen's University and RMC at the KROCK Centre. A card was also sent to member Leslie Roberts wishing him a speedy recovery. There were Observing reports from members around the room on lots of interesting objects, and information on what to observe in the coming month.

June's meeting had a Guest Speaker Nik Arora speaking to us on Colours of the Universe a discussion on wavelengths of the spectrum. More presentations from Stephen Craig on all the wonderful imaging he has done over the last while. We had more door prizes and 50/50 draws. Observing reports were given .This was our last meeting before the summer break (July, August)

July and August was the summer shut down of the Centre. but some members meet for dinner at the Queen's Sports Tavern and went to a movie in August.

September's meeting was right before Fall N Stars 2018. Rick Wagner welcomed everyone back, and presented what was going to happen in the skies during September. We also held Fall' N' Stars in Thomasburg, Ontario with the RASC Belleville Centre. We had 32 people in attendance on Sept 7-9th, early this year due to the moon phase which was waning crescent moon at 26.97 days. New moon was on September 9th. We had sucker holes and Sunday we woke up to +3C temps and heavy frost. Nature's way of saying Fall is Coming. There were great talks on Saturday afternoon and a pizza, salad desert dinner which had zero leftovers.. Thanks for all the door prize donations and awards. Everyone had a great time.

October's notes were taken by Susan Gagnon thank you Susan. Here is her detailed report:

The meeting officially started at 7pm. I say officially because the bulk of attendees were at dinner before hand! President Rick Wagner gave an introduction of Centre exec and the fact that VP, Secretary, and Librarian are up for elections in November. Following this there was a rundown on QUARG Lectures (Queen's) coming up, North Frontenac and Land A dark sites are no longer posting weekend events possibly signalling the end of the season. Rick also went over the highlights of fall observing. Peter Hutchison presented the results of an Observer's Handbook survey he did in search of stars that are 150 light years away. The significance of this is that the light we are seeing would have left the star when the RASC was just starting up. An interesting thought exercise on the 150 anniversary. It was a cool idea and as in so many of these cases Peter remarked on just how overwhelming it is to imagine the vastness of the universe. Malcolm Park had some deep sky astonomy shots as well as the equipment used to take them. The equipment shown was a package designed for shipping to Chile for remote photography. For fans of the more animated sky, Malcolm had a lovely time lapse series on a recent thunderstorm over Lake Ontario. During the break there was much chatting and there were inquiries as to how to join, always a welcome question! Some calendars were sold ($20 if you want one). After the break Rick showed us a photo of tornado damage in Dunrobin, a video of the Sapho occultation last month (very cool) and a deep sky photo. Stephen Craig has also been busy with the camera and had several beautiful deep sky photos as well as a good picture of his scope and camera bits. There were 15.5 members and 6.5 friends of the Centre in attendance. I say 15.5 because someone went online during the meeting and joined. The meeting was adjourned at 9pm.

November is the RASC-Kingston Centre's Annual Meeting. We also have many positions up for Election. Vice President , Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Librarian, National Council Representative. After our Elections and Annual Meeting we will be having member Joe Gilker give us a talk on wide-field astrophotography and night time landscapes. Joe helps to coordinate observing sessions at the Lennox and Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area.

December will have the Centre members going to the Mandarin Restaurant for the Christmas Banquet.

We helped Queen's with the KAON sessions this year. The nights consisted of great talks at Ellis Hall then trips up to the observatory with the occasional observing sessions when the sky cooperated. Susan Gagnon is the KAON Coordinator. Thank you Susan and all the volunteers who help out with this public event. The new Queen's Observatory Coordinator is Conner Stone who took over for Mathew Checker. Throughout the year Queen's held various talks for the faculty and Students through The Physics Department which members could attend.

This is my last report as Secretary for the RASC Kingston Centre. It has been my pleasure to be able to record our meetings, and assist the Executive in any job that was needed to be done.

Respectfully Submitted
Kim Hay
Secretary RASC-Kingston Centre

Editor's Report

The table below is a ten-year summary of newsletter production:

Year Issues Pages Notes
2009 10 117  
2010 11 93  
2011 8 87 Nov. issue was produced by Kim & Kevin.
2012 8 78  
2013 11 111 One issue of Ridiculous (first in 20 years).
2014 6 76  
2015 5 60 Oct. issue by Kim & Kevin.
2016 7 80  
2017 5 72  
2018 4 60 Projected whole-year numbers.

Regulus continues in a sporadic fashion as I stumble across the ten-year mark as Editor. That is a long time as Editor, and if anyone else would like the job I would gladly step aside!

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed material to Regulus, either directly or indirectly (via the email lists). Obviously, without these contributions your newsletter would not be possible.

Walter MacDonald, Editor

Website Report

The Centre's website has been inaccessible on most browsers for some months now as they have steadily ramped up their security policies. On November 5 Dave Lane installed an SSL certificate on our web host, so our Centre's website is universally accessible once again.

Kevin Kell continues to install Drupal updates as they are released. Our hosting plan with Green Geeks was renewed for 3 years which was the lowest cost option (versus annual renewals).

Some work has been done to bring the content up to date (publications, and some links), so things are set for the future.

Walter MacDonald, Webmaster

Librarian’s Report

  • The Centre’s library is kept at the home of the librarian.
  • A listing of the books in the main collection can be found through the Centre’s web site.
  • A sign out sheet is kept with the books.
  • Members can contact the librarian between meetings if they wish to enquire about or borrow a book.
  • Contact information is in the newsletters.

Suggestions for books are welcomed.

David Maguire

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