Northern Nights 2018

During the 2018 edition of Northern Nights (4:30-6pm, on the 22nd of September, 2018, at Kathleen Lake Lakefront Cabin), and in partnership with our Valued Partner, Parks Canada, the Yukon Astronomical Society will host the following presentation:

Chris Gainor, Ph.D : History of the Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched 28 years ago in 1990. After overcoming problems caused by a defective main mirror, Hubble has made discoveries that have revolutionized our view of the universe we live in. This talk will cover the history of Hubble based on a history book the speaker is writing for NASA.

Chris Gainor is a historian specializing in the history of space flight and aeronautics. He has five published books and is currently writing a history of the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA. He is also President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly.

Photo credit: Neil Zeller

Last Meeting in the Monday Night Astronomer workshop series

As the midnight Sun takes over the sky, we wrap up our bi-weekly Monday Night Astronomer workshop
series, today , May 28 th at 7pm to 9pm at Room A2402 at the Yukon College.

Today’s topic: open discussion about our own astronomical observations, astronomy news and our
observatory project.

If you can, bring some crackers, coke or juice or similar to share. The series will resume on September
10 th .

During the summer we will focus on our observatory project and we are hoping having an opening
ceremony on August 23 rd , on the first day of our 2 nd Annual Yukon Star Party.

If your membership expired or about to expire, you have the option to renew at www.rasc.ca , by
choosing “Yukon Centre” as your centre.

The following ways you can follow our news, programs and events first-hand for the most recent

  • Website: www.yukonastronomy.com is our first preferred way to share information and
    communicate with members and the public. (Please note that our old website
    www.yukonastronomicalsociety.com expired).
  • Facebook public page: RASC Yukon Centre – Yukon Astronomical Society
  • Facebook member GROUP page: Yukon Astronomical Society (please request your membership
    directly at the site
  • Twitter: @yukonastronomy

I am hoping that this year we’ll engage in a lot of fun programs, volunteer work, and outreaches about
astronomy, together.

Either we meet or not today or during the summer, for the Board of Directors of the Yukon Astronomical
Society/RASC Yukon Centre and myself, I wish a great summer to you until our Star Party in August, or at
the next workshop in September!

With amateur astronomers’ greeting:

Clear skies,

Vikki Zsohar
President, Yukon Astronomical Society
RASC Yukon Centre



The Yukon Astronomical Society has announced that Tier III funding aid has been approved for the RASC Yukon Astronomical Observatory’s next phase of construction by the Yukon Government. This includes renovation of a 10 ft diameter observatory dome which was donated by Takhini Hotsprings LTD. This project also makes sure that the site will be safe for the public and relative infrastructure can be installed to meet the needs of those who will attend events being planned for hosting by the RASC Yukon Centre*. Expected construction could be completed as early as Fall 2018 with the finished observatory becoming accessible for the general public.

RASC Yukon Observatory will be equipped to host professional grade astronomical telescope technology system which can be remote controlled and future ready. Public viewings are being planned for various planets as well as the Sun and Moon of Earth. Bright star clusters and other celestial objects can also become focused. “We are very excited to showcase the dark Yukon starry nights for students of all ages and everybody who is interested in looking through a telescope” says Viktor Zsohar, President of the Yukon Astronomical Society.

It is the future plan of the Yukon Astronomical Society to extend the observatory site with a presentation building. In addition to public viewing for ‘Yukoners’, the Yukon Astronomical Society will have exclusive access schedules available as a membership benefit. The site will also be available for those ambitious enthusiasts planning their own relevant events in Whitehorse. More details will be available later on including the Grand Opening Event information and standard observatory operating hours. Be sure to keep an eye out on the Yukon Astronomical Society’s social media presence and website for this information as it becomes available.


Funding for this project is made possible with support from Government of Yukon’s Community Development Fund.





Dr. Van Laerhoven hosts RASC Event at Yukon College – Exoplanets: The Weird and Wonderful

Image Credits: [An exoplanet seen from its moon (artist’s impression)] ‘iau1301a’ by IAU/L. Calçada (Shared Under Creative Commons ASA 3.0 U)

On March 19, 2018 the Yukon Royal Astronomical Society of Canada was treated by the presentation of Dr. Christa Van Laerhoven who appeared at the Yukon College in Whitehorse to speak about some interesting points of her field in detail. A senior member of the Yukon RASC, Dr. Van Laerhoven is a professional astronomer and planetary scientist at the University of British Columbia.

The opening of this presentation discussed the motivation for exoplanet research being to give context to that of our very own Earth and solar system in general. If you were a farmer you wouldn’t try to understand raspberries by simply studying one single raspberry, Dr. Van Laerhoven remarks, but instead you need to look at raspberries in the context of several different raspberry bushes, grown in different conditions, breeding raspberries together, finding out how resistant they are to various elements, and all of the information possible in order to understand why they are the way that they are. In order to understand the ways in which our Earth is normal or abnormal, we must take a look at the bigger picture.


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