rasckccolorlogo2012oct14-200The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Kingston Centre met last night, Thursday 2014 March 13th in Ellis Hall Room 324 at Queen’s University.

Our Guest Speaker: Dr. John Percy (University of Toronto) who spoke on
“Understanding Variable Stars: How the AAVSO — and You — Can Help”

Abstract: Variable stars are stars which change in brightness; they are “action in the sky”. They provide important and unique information about the nature and evolution of the stars. Some flare, some erupt, and a few self-destruct as supernovas. Many (including the sun) pulsate, and the pulsations can provide a “CT scan” of the inside of the star, or direct evidence of the star’s evolution. About half of all stars are binary stars, and some of these vary by eclipsing each other. In the last decade, thousands of stars have been found to vary because a planet — called an exoplanet — passes between us and the star. Variable stars are thus revealing the first earth-like planets outside the solar system. I will review the different kinds of variable stars, and how they are studied. I will describe some of the ways that amateur astronomers can help, especially through the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) I will describe some of my current research projects, most of which are carried out by keen undergraduate students, using AAVSO data.

Dr. Percy is the current Honourary President of the RASC, Past President of the RASC and past Editor of the RASC Observer’s Handbook!

Other presentations from:
Brian Hunter: 163 Erigone and the Regulus Occultation
Richard Wiegand: Luna 4
Kim Hay : Lunar and Solar Sketching

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm and all in all it was a good meeting with a good turnout of 20 people, many of which we have not seen in some time.