Seeing Stars In Montreal

You might think this is all about film stars and Montreal. Given the beauty and variety to be found in and around Montreal, it’s not surprising that this is a thriving industry for Montreal. This week around the city you might have caught glimpses of Mira Sorvino, Donald Sutherland, Robert Carlyle, David Duchovny, Zach Braff or Rachel Bilson who are all here shooting film projects.

The stars we have in mind won’t be found in the Canadian Celebrities website. They’re members of the Canadian Astronomical Society, which is meeting in Montreal this week-end for its Annual Meeting. The real stars are the astronomers themselves. Among themselves, they tend to rate each other on the number of times their scientific papers are cited by each other. The Institute for Scientific Information that keeps score put Canadian astronomers at #1 with the US at #2 and the UK at #3. The Montreal Gazette buried this news item on page 14 but did have the following quote from Matt Mountain, head of the international Gemini Observatory:

Canadian astronomers are producing some of the best astronomy in the world, … and the instruments and software developed by Canadian teams are second to none.

Canada is a partner in Gemini, which operates twin eight-metre telescopes in Hawaii and Chile.

So here’s hearty congratulations to our own star stars.

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