RASC Regular Meeting Apr 10, 2017 Scanning the Milky Way: Identifying High Energy Sources in our Galaxy

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Reuben Gazer

Scanning the Milky Way: Identifying High Energy Sources in our Galaxy

NGC 6388 – X-ray and Visible Composite Image. X-ray: NASA/CXC/IASF Palermo/M.Del Santo et al; Optical: NASA/STScI

How different are the stars we see in the night sky? How do we know their size, temperature, distance, and whether these are just ‘normal’ stars or more exotic light emitters? In this talk, I will be discussing parts of my research dedicated to identifying the most interesting stellar objects in our galaxy. First, we will overview the types of stars we expect to see in the galaxy and how we identify aspects like their temperature, distance and size as astronomers. Then we will introduce how binary star systems greatly alter the ‘expected’ behaviour of stellar properties and end with the role of these system’s in uncovering the Milky Way’s past.

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RASC Regular Meeting Mar 13, 2017 Stellar Clusters: The Benchmarks of Galaxies

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Erik Rosolowsky
Stellar Clusters: The Benchmarks of Galaxies

Star cluster  Westerlund 2 (Hubble)

Star clusters are a favourite deep sky object for observers, but clusters also play a vital role in astrophysics.  Because all the stars in clusters are formed at the same time, they serve as essential tools for galactic archaeology and surveying.  In this talk, I will describe the cosmic life and times of clusters and present some of the ways that astrophysicists use clusters.  Finally, I will describe why we think that our Sun formed in a cluster and the search for stars from our old neighbourhood.

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RASC Regular Meeting Feb 13, 2017 Fantastic Black Holes and How to Find Them

Centaurus A  (NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al)

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Gregory Sivakoff
Fantastic Black Holes and How to Find Them

Few astronomical objects are as broadly exciting as black holes. But how exactly do astronomers find these fantastic objects? Gregory Sivakoff will discuss some of the techniques he and other astronomers use to hunt down black holes.

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RASC AGM + Regular Meeting
Jan 9, 2017

RASC Annual General Meeting + Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

NOTE: Even though TWOSE is closed to the public on January 9,
IT WILL BE OPEN in the evening for the RASC Meeting.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Annual General Meeting
8:15 PM Member’s Night
Astronomical Presentations by RASC Members

  • Lori Walton: SETI Update
  • Massimo Torri: Astroimaging Corner
  • Other regular features

If you want time on the agenda, email the President.

RASC Regular Meeting
Dec 12, 2016
Alpha-Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

2016212_Proxima_CentauriRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Martin Beech
Alpha-Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

Our closest stellar neighbor provides us with many astrophysical mysteries, but, for all this, it also provides us with numerous opportunities for discovery. While a single star to the naked-eye, alpha-Centauri is actually a triple-star system – the more massive binary component, alpha-Centauri A & B, bookends in mass what our Sun could have been and it provides us with clues as to the future evolution of our solar system. The third component, Proxima Centauri, an example of the most common type of star in the galaxy, was discovered 101 years ago, and is now known to host at least one Earth-mass planet.

In this talk Martin Beech will explore some of the as yet unsolved astronomical problems relating to the alpha-Centauri system, and he will also discuss the on-going search for associated planets. Finally, looking to the distant future, I will briefly review some of the current ideas concerning the possibility of directly exploring the system with interstellar space probes.

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RASC Regular Meeting
Nov 14, 2016
AlbertaSat’s Ex-Alta 1 and 2 Missions

2016114_exalta1RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Tyler Hrynyk
AlbertaSat’s Ex-Alta 1 and 2 Missions and Vision for the Future

The Experimental Albertan #1 (Ex-Alta 1) is the pioneer cube satellite from the AlbertaSat team at the University of Alberta and will be the first built-in-Alberta satellite. This three-unit (3U) cube satellite is designed and assembled primarily by volunteer undergraduate students at the University of Alberta, with guidance from several researchers and faculty members. Once in orbit, Ex-Alta 1 will study space weather using a range of miniature scientific instruments. This flight will also be used to qualify the first model of a new suite of open source cube satellite subsystems being developed at the University of Alberta. Ex-Alta 1 is one of two Canadian satellites participating in the QB50 mission, coordinated by the Von Karman Institute in Brussels, Belgium. Ex-Alta 1 joined the QB50 mission in mid 2013 and is currently being integrated in the Netherlands with other satellites from the mission. On December 30th, 2016 Ex-Alta 1 will launch on the Antares VI rocket out of Wallops Virginia to be delivered to the International Space Station. In Q1 2017 Ex-Alta 1 will be deployed from the NanoRacks deployer on the ISS to begin its mission at an altitude of 400km.

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RASC Regular Meeting
Oct 17, 2016
New Thoughts on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

20161017_ataRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Seth Shostak
New Thoughts on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

It has been more than 50 years since the first attempt to sift the skies for radio signals that would betray the existence of intelligent beings beyond Earth.  So far, nothing has been heard.

Does this failure mean anything?  Could it be that we simply need to give these experiments more time?  Or are the assumptions made in designing these efforts fatally flawed?

In this talk, Seth Shostak will explain how modern technology is rapidly increasing the speed and extent of our search for alien transmissions, and that new experiments could turn up a signal within a few decades or less.

He will also consider the anthropocentric nature of the searches so far, and suggest how our conservative assumptions about ET’s nature and behavior may be hindering our attempts to find him.

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