Since 1868, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) has nurtured the passion of astronomers and
fostered the curiosity of anyone who has looked up at the stars and wondered what lies beyond! Celebrate the
150th anniversary of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada with a realistic re-imagining of its sesquicentennial
logo, topped with a meteorite fragment that is a tribute to the contributions of its members.
The reverse design by Alexandra Lefort is a re-interpretation of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s
sesquicentennial logo in a scientifically accurate, photorealism art style. The original logo features stars that
allude to Canadian contributions to stellar spectroscopy and photometry, and a globular cluster that honours
the scientific work of Helen Sawyer Hogg and Canada’s cooperative partnerships; both are colourfully
re-imagined here as the Eagle Nebula—specifically the pillars of interstellar gas and dust known as the
Pillars of Creation, where the formation of new stars is a symbolic representation of the RASC’s beginnings
(and by extension, its anniversary).
A fixture in RASC public outreach efforts, the Moon was chosen to represent the lunar calendars of the First
Nations peoples, and the navigational astronomy that guided many European discoverers during Canada’s
early history. Beneath it, the Andromeda galaxy — the nearest major galaxy to our own — is a symbolic ode to
Canadian contributions to cosmology.
Blazing as it burns through Earth’s upper atmosphere, the depiction of a meteor is topped by a genuine iron
meteorite fragment sourced from the Campo del Cielo meteorite fields, where the impact craters date back
an estimated 4,500 years. Both the meteorite and the view of the Manicouagan crater in Quebec are a nod
to the RASC’s longstanding interest in the study of planet geology, meteor dynamics and impact cratering,
and to the excellence of Canadian research in these fields. Always fascinating, the space-weather
phenomenon of the aurora borealis adds a “True North” flourish that a design that encapsulates 150 years of
exploring the cosmos. The reverse also includes the word “CANADA”, the double commemorative dates
“1868 – 2018”, and the face value “20 DOLLARS”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The reverse includes a guaranteed
authentic meteorite fragment! Sourced from the Campo del Cielo
meteorite field, the fragment likely made impact some 4,500 years
ago, but it was originally part of an iron mass that is likely
billions of years old. It’s an opportunity to own an
extra-terrestrial piece of our solar system — one that is potentially
as old as Earth itself!