The Canadian Astronomical Society was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1983 as a society of professional astronomers. The society is devoted to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education. Membership is open to persons with a professional involvement with these goals in astronomy and the related sciences.
The main activities of the Society are its annual scientific meetings, the planning and realization of scientific projects, the support of the scientific activities of its members, and the dissemination of related information among members and other interested persons. The Society supports committees on ground-based astronomy, space astronomy, computation and data, education and public outreach, heritage, graduate students, and awards. Cassiopeia, the quarterly newsletter of the Society, is published at equinoxes and solstices.
One of the major raisons d’être of CASCA is to serve as a national forum for scientific planning in astronomy. Although this function is served in part by the annual meetings of the Society, and by our newsletter, Cassiopeia, both of which serve to examine existing and proposed projects and facilities in astronomy on a regular basis, the committees of CASCA also serve as a vital element of the planning process. For this reason, members should feel free to raise an opinion or propose a scientific project at any time to the appropriate CASCA committee, with a copy of their submission being sent concurrently to the president of the Society.
In 1992, the Society established CascaTrust as a charitable trust for the advancement of education and research in astronomy. A receipt for a charitable donation is issued to all members who make contributions to CascaTrust.
The Long Range Plan for Canadian Astronomy
Starting in 1998, CASCA has initiated and sponsored the development of a Long Range Plan (LRP) for Canadian Astronomy. The first LRP, “The Origins of Structure in the Universe“, was released in May 2000 in collaboration with NRC and NSERC. The second LRP, “Unveiling the Cosmos: A Vision for Canadian Astronomy“, was released in February 2011 in collaboration with ACURA, NSERC, NRC, CSA, and CFI. The Coalition for Canadian Astronomy, which brings together representatives from CASCA, academia (through ACURA) and Industry, was formed in 2000 and has worked since with the goal of securing federal funding to support the projects endorsed by the LPR. If you would like more information or to become involved, get in touch with one of the Coalition Co-Chairs or the CASCA Board.
Contribution to Public Outreach
CASCA is committed to Education and Public Outreach. To learn more, please contact our EPO committee. CASCA’s contributions to the International Year of Astronomy and to public outreach have recently been by a certificate of appreciation from the IAU, who also recognized CASCA for endorsing the Washington Charter for Communicating with the Public.