The beginnings of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada go back to the middle of the nineteenth century with the founding of the Toronto Astronomical Club in 1868. The Society was incorporated within the province of Ontario in 1890, and in 1903 received permission to style itself the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada from elements of the Canadian government (Undersecretary of State Sir Joseph Pope, and Ontario High Court Justice W.R. Meredith.) The Society was federally incorporated in 1968. Today, the RASC has 29 centres and over 4,500 members world-wide.
The National Office of the Society is located at 203-489 College St, Toronto ON M6G 1A5, telephone (416) 924-7973. The business office and national library are housed there.
The RASC is devoted to the advancement of astronomy and allied sciences, and its members are from many countries and from all walks of life. Members receive the publications of the Society: the Observer's Handbook (published annually in November); the bimonthly Journal which contains review articles, research papers on historical and contemporary topics, education notes, general notes of astronomical interest, book reviews, news items concerning the Society and its Centres, informal articles, and letters; and the Society's Annual Report. The membership year begins October 1, and members receive the publications of the Society for the following calendar year. An applicant may affiliate with one of the Centres of the Society across Canada, or may join the Society directly as an unattached member.
More information about the national society can be found on rasc.ca.
RASC, Toronto Centre Timeline
- 1868 On December 1st the first meeting of the Toronto Astronomical Club was held.
- 1869 January 1st - first regular meeting was held. May 4th changed the name to the Toronto Astronomical Society.
- 1890 Name changed to the Astronomical and Physical Society of Toronto.
- 1900 Name changed to Toronto Astronomical Society.
- 1903 By royal assent, the Society becomes the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
- 1907 The Journal of the RASC started by Dr. C.A. Chant. First Edition of what would later become the Observer's Handbook is published.
- 1921 First public Star Night held at the Canadian National Exhibition.
- 1935 Opening of the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill.
- 1959 First volume of the Centre's newsletter SCOPE is published.
- 1972 Québec solar eclipse expedition.
- 1973 African solar eclipse expedition.
- 1974 The RASC, Toronto Centre is separately incorporated from the National Society.
- 1979 Manitoban solar eclipse expedition.
- 1980 Kenyan solar eclipse expedition.
- 1983 Indonesian solar eclipse expedition.
- 1984 North Carolinian solar eclipse expedition.
- 1986 More than 15,000 Torontonians glimpse Comet Halley at "Halley's Rallies" held at the Metro Toronto Zoo.
- 1988 Philippine solar eclipse expedition.
- 1989 Total lunar eclipse visible across Southern Ontario.
- 1990 Finland solar eclipse expedition.
- 1991 Mexican solar eclipse expedition.
- 1994 Annular solar eclipse visible in Toronto and most of Southern Ontario.
- 1995 The RASC, Toronto Centre moves to its new home at the Ontario Science Centre.
- 1997 The E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO) is donated to the Toronto Centre.
- 2001 The Geoff Brown Observatory is dedicated at the CAO and begins regular operations.
- 2003 Marsfest 2003 draws over 6,000 visitors in one evening to the Ontario Science Centre.
- 2008 Improvements are made at the CAO, including ramp and picnic tables, to make it more accessible.
- 2009 The RASC, Toronto Centre becomes the steward of the David Dunlap Observatory, after being sold by the University of Toronto to Metrus Development. We implement astronomical outreach programs from the DDO. Chinese solar eclipse expedition.
- 2010 Total lunar eclipse visible across Southern Ontario.
- 2011 My Own Dome Lots program is implemented at the CAO.