With the Stars

With the Stars is a Toronto Star column written by Helen Sawyer Hogg from 1951 to 1981.

Helen Sawyer Hogg photoThere is already a growing archive of RASC publications dealing with issues of interest to members of the Society, but what about information intended for the public? Between 1951 and 1981 Helen Sawyer Hogg wrote a weekly astronomy column for the Saturday edition of the Toronto Star, usually titled With the Stars. The purpose of the feature may only have been to update readers on the most obvious celestial events, but Dr. Hogg's column was an eclectic blend of backyard observing notes and astronomical news stories, with both local and international angles. Now, for possibly the first time a complete index to the feature has been compiled.

Typical columns might describe the nature of sunspots, the Harvest Moon or the Star of Bethlehem (which was explained almost every December). Dr. Hogg had the advantage of writing about stargazing during a great time period that encompassed both the beginning of the space age and revolutions in astronomical discovery. With the Stars reported on current events, including:

  • The Perihelic Opposition of Mars (1956 and 1971)
  • The International Geophysical Year (1957-8)
  • The Bruderheim Meteorite (1960)
  • The first identified Quasars (1964)
  • The first identified Pulsars (1968)
  • Founding the Canadian Astronomical Society (1971)
  • Building the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (1973-9)
  • Comet Kohoutek (1974)