By Ed Mizzi
2017 is going to be a great year in astronomy, and our first meeting of the year certainly had a lot of great things happen!
As is customary, President Gary Bennett welcomed everyone to the meeting. Following this, Bob Prociuk gave his monthly report on membership and welcomed new members in attendance.
Ed Mizzi discussed Outreach programs and how to get involved. He strongly encouraged members to join in these fun sessions, whether they are in classrooms, with adult groups or with Guides and Scouts.
Ed then introduced the Outreach Youth Award by explaining the criteria for choosing a winner and pointing out that it is a joint venture of our Hamilton Centre RASC club and Ontario Telescope, owned by Steve Mallia. This will hopefully become an annual event and will encourage young people to get involved in the study of astronomy and the night sky. The 2016 winner was Oliver Mao, a grade 7 student at St. Andrew elementary school in Oakville. Steve Mallia said a few words about the fascination with the universe and that he hoped this award would inspire young people to become more involved in this great hobby. Oliver was then presented with a Certificate of Recognition for being the 2016 Youth Leader in the study of astronomy in the Hamilton Centre RASC Outreach Program. Oliver also won the following: a Family membership to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, a RASC calendar and hat, a book (Explore the Universe Guide) and a pair of binoculars generously donated by Murry Romisher, one of our members.
Steve Mallia was then invited to show off some new astronomy equipment that he brought with him and during the break people were able to get a close up look and ask Steve questions about these products.
Roger Hill discussed the NOVA course he is teaching, beginning on January 30 and running for 8 sessions ending in April. He is very excited about this year’s course and encouraged members to sign up ASAP, before all the spots are taken.
Gary Bennett introduced our guest speaker, Paul Delaney from York University who gave a talk entitled “Understanding Our Home: The Milky Way Galaxy”. Paul was not only entertaining but he described things in a way that everyone could understand, using several interesting slides and analogies. There were many questions during the Q & A session following his talk.
Gary Bennett then invited the approximately 40 attendees to join him at the Royal Coachman Restaurant after the meeting for refreshments and further discussion in a more informal setting.