Project Author: Brian Battersby

Updated: 2012-June 4 Sidewalk Astronomer


The Sidewalk Astronomer is an International Year of Astronomy 2009 program. It is intended to be national in scope and therefore to be offered by all RASC Centres. The program consists of the Sidewalk Astronomy booklet and website. In addition to being a teaching aid for the novice stargazer, the program is intended to be a way for the RASC to increase membership by providing Centres with a communication link to enthusiastic potential new members. The program has been designed to be able to be extended past 2009 and continued as long as the RASC sees fit.


  • To provide the participant with basic astronomy information.
  • To challenge the participant to make observations and reward them for making those observations.
  • To provide a communication opportunity between the participant and their local RASC Centre.


  • Providing the participant with a “Sidewalk Astronomer” booklet.
  • Printed copies of the booklet will be given to each Centre to distribute.
  • An electronic version of the booklet will also be available for the public to download from the RASC national website
  • Rewarding the participant for their observations.
  • A webpage will be maintained on the national website listing all those who complete and submit their Sidewalk Astronomer observations.
  • The program will enable the RASC Centres to make contact with the participant in two ways.
  • When the novice stargazer attends a RASC Centre event they will be given a sidewalk astronomer booklet.
  • As part of the process for submitting their observations the novice stargazer will contact their local RASC Centre.


  1. In late 2008 / early 2009 RASC National printed and distributed Sidewalk Astronomy booklets to Centres as well as set up this Sidewalk Astronomer Web site.
  2. RASC Centres receiving copies of the booklet were expected to provide a contact to run the program at the Centre level. It was important to ensure the objectives of the program are met.
  3. RASC Centre members handed out the Sidewalk Astronomer booklets at their events. This gave the Centres the opportunity to meet the novice stargazer, offer them help and instruction, and invite them to join the Centre. In certain situations, such as a large school group or people unable to attend a Centre event in person, the Centre may wish to simply point the interested participants to the Sidewalk Astronomer Web site where they can download and print off copies of the booklet themselves.
  4. The participants will read the booklets and complete the observations.
  5. Instructions printed on the booklet will suggest that the participants make a copy of their observations and mail them to the RASC Centre nearest them. Each Centre will have its address printed on the booklet.
  6. The participant will mail their observations to their local Centre marked “Attn: Sidewalk Astronomer.”
  7. The observations will be given to the Centre IYA Coordinator or other person designated to handle the Sidewalk Astronomer program.
  8. The Centre Coordinator will look over the observations and ensure they are completed.
  9. The Centre Coordinator will contact the participant via phone or email and tell them they have successfully completed the program and their name will be added to the list on the RASC National Web site here OR the Centre Coordinator will contact the participant and tell them they have not successfully completed the program and offer them help to complete it.
  10. When contacting the participant, the Centre Coordinator will invite them to another Centre event, meeting, and otherwise make them feel welcomed by the RASC and invite them to continue to explore their new-found passion for the night sky by joining the RASC.
  11. The Centre Coordinator will forward the name of the participant who has successfully completed the Sidewalk Astronomer observations to the RASC National Coordinator. Currently this is Kim Hay. Email her at cdnspooky at persona dot ca
  12. The RASC National Coordinator will add the participants name to the list of “Sidewalk Astronomers” on the RASC Web site.

Recipients of the Sidewalk Astronomer Certificate


Download Certificate for Presentation


Centre Afilliation Name
 Kitchener-Waterloo  Anton Abaev

 New Brunswick

(William Brydone Jack Astronomy Club)

 Tyler Clark

Victoria Teselaar

Thomas Teselaar

Montreal Centre

  Shawn Fontaine (2012)


New Brusnswick Centre
(The Hanwell <open sky> Observatory)
Chris Weadick (2014)
  Kelly Weadick (2014)
  Natasha Weadick (2014) Age 7
  Brooklynne  Weadick (2014) Age 5


Project Manager: Kim Hay,
Project Author: Brian Battersby


Last modified: 
Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 5:54pm