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March 2018 Monthly Meeting

March 9, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The monthly gathering of the Winnipeg RASC. This meeting is free to attend and open to anyone!

Meeting Agenda

  • Beginner’s Session
  • Lost in Space – A look at one of the many spacecraft exploring our solar system
  • What’s Up? – An overview of what you can see in the current night sky
  • What’s New? – News stories from the science of astronomy
  • Refreshment break
  • Featured Presentation – Dark Nebulae – Observing Nothing

Featured Presentation

Paul Gray, current president of the Halifax centre of the RASC, will be giving us a talk titled: Dark Nebulae – Observing Nothing

About the Speaker

Paul’s first memory of the night sky was around the age of 4 while looking out the window of the car on a dark clear night somewhere in upstate New York. They called to him a few times again but it was not till 1985 at the age of 12 that Comet Halley hooked him. For 3 years he learned the night sky with binoculars and books alone in his parent’s backyard. Finally in 1987 he found the RASC and became a member in 1988. He was active with the Halifax Centre as a youth helping in any way he could including observing chair and chairing the Nova East Star Party. In 1998 Paul found himself moving to Maryland, USA for 5 years. While there he became a member of the Delmarva Stargazers and was active in many facet of the club and still remains as their Honorary Northern member. Upon returning to Canada Paul joined the RASC Moncton (now NB Centre) and again was involved holding numerous positions including newsletter editor and various president positions as well as chairing the 2010 General Assembly. He is now in Halifax where he is in his 4 th year as president. (ask him how he held onto power?)

Nationally Paul has been involved since 2005 as Council Rep for the NB Centre. He would later serve on the Board Pilot Committee, chair the National Observing Committee for 3 years and serve as a Director on the Board. In 2012 he became editor of the RASC Observer’s Calendar and enjoys working on it during the cold winter months. In 2016 Paul was award the RASC Service Award for his efforts at both levels of the RASC.

Over 3 decades Paul has had a journey of astronomical experiences. Observing first with a 60mm Tasco then a 100mm F4 Taylor Hobson TV Lens made into a telescope he completed the messier list. Later he would build a 330mm F4.5 reflector in his final year of highschool using the schools Tech Labs. After his move to the USA he would observe with a 12.5” F5 reflector completing his finest NGC List as well as his Dark Nebulae project.

He has a passion for meteor observing and deep sky observing of most objects. He has ventured into photography many times over the years in both film, DSLR and CCD. He “went off the deep end” so to speak while in college when he teamed up with David Lane to conduct a supernova search and at age 22 found his first. He would later find 5 more and share one with his daughter Kathryn Aurora Gray. To keep things in the family his son Nathan Gray also would find a supernova as part of the program he and David Lane developed. Paul is also a 3 time recipient of the RASC Ken Chilton Prize.

Recently he made a dream come true and observing easier by finally building his backyard observatory at his home in Nova Scotia.


March 9, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre
92 Dysart Road, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M7 Canada



Regular Events

Every second Friday of the month, we host our monthly meetings. They are free and open for all to attend, and are located in the Robert Schultz Lecture Theatre at St. John’s College in the U of M.

Meetings start at 7pm with our Beginner’s talk, which are designed for novice astronomers who are just beginning in the hobby. Then, we have updates on the latest astronomical news, and also discuss what is up to observe in the night sky that month. The main talk typically runs from 9pm to 10pm, where we have a variety of guest speakers who share their knowledge and expertise of astronomy.

Near the end of each summer, the Winnipeg RASC holds its annual Spruce Woods Star Party, held at Spruce Woods Provincial Park near Carberry, Manitoba. All current RASC members are welcome to join for a weekend of astronomy workshops and long nights of observing.