RASC Regular Meeting December 11, 2017, A Giant Leap for Alberta

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

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

Tyler Hrynyk
A Giant Leap for Alberta

AlbertaSat is a student team at the university of Alberta that has launched Alberta’s first satellite, The Experimental Albertan #1. Currently the team is conducting Orbital Operations on Ex-Alta 1 and is finishing its design for Ex-Alta 2. The team has many other initiatives including balloon missions and educational outreach.
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RASC Regular Meeting November 13, 2017, Using Astronomy as a Foundation for First Nations’ Education

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

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

Bruce Rout
Using Astronomy as a Foundation for First Nations’ Education

This talk describes an astronomy education program at Siksika Nation High School east of Calgary. The Siksika reserve is located in a relatively dark zone which is also radio quiet. This program resulted from a solar astronomy educational outreach program from Stanford University which received support from the Siksika Nation Board of Education, IEEE SIGHT and the Astronomical Teacher Training Institute.

The culture and traditional values of Siksika in particular, and the Blackfoot Confederacy in general, are based on a cosmological epistemology resulting from tens of thousands of years of astronomical observation. This grass-roots project was designed and instituted to help re-establish self-determination in education at Siksika Nation, to promote the rediscovery of past knowledge, and to continue scientific investigation using the methods and principles of the local people.

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RASC Regular Meeting October 16, 2017 Observing Variable Stars with the AAVSO

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

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

Dr. Stella Kafka
Observing Variable Stars with the AAVSO

Variable stars have always been the most intriguing (and fun) targets for observers, professional and amateur alike. Stellar variability, both intrinsic and extrinsic, provide unique insights in critical stages of stellar evolution, help determine distances to nearby galaxies and add to our understanding of explosion physics and chemical enrichment of the Milky Way.

I will introduce some of the most common aspects of stellar variability and their significance in astrophysics. I will discuss their common light curves identifiers, and present work by AAVSO observers that has lead to cutting-edge scientific discoveries throughout the years. Finally, I will discuss how you can participate in variable star observations from your back yard, contributing to the AAVSO International Database and to cutting-edge science.

 

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RASC Regular Meeting September 11, 2017 Alberta’s role in a new global fireball observatory

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

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

Dr. Chris Herd
Alberta’s role in a new global fireball observatory

Tagish Lake Meteorite

The tracking of bright meteors (“fireballs”) can result in the recovery of meteorites, as long as there are a good number of observations from different viewpoints, and the conditions and landscape are optimal for recovery. Rapid recovery of meteorites – especially from ice- or snow-covered surfaces – preserves them against weathering at the Earth’s surface. Once curated and studied, the meteorites can provide new insights into the geology of their parent asteroids and planets. At the same time, good fireball observations enable the orbits of meteoroids to be determined. Examples from important western Canadian meteorite falls will be presented, along with plans for the Western Canada portion of a new, global fireball observatory.

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RASC Regular Meeting June 12, 2017 The IceCube Neutrino Observatory: Chasing Particles in Antarctica

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

Dr. Claudio Kopper
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory: Chasing Particles in Antarctica

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a particle detector built into a cubic kilometre of natural Antarctic glacier, located deep beneath the South Pole. It searches for interactions of a nearly massless subatomic particle called the neutrino. The IceCube observatory has a vast scientific program including searching for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources such as exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and neutron stars as well as looking for signals from possible dark matter sources like the galactic centre. It is also a powerful tool to study the neutrino itself.
I will introduce neutrinos, describe the IceCube detector and highlight some of the recent results obtained from the data taken by the detector. I will also explain how IceCube could help solve the 100-year old mystery of the origin of “Cosmic Rays” – a flux of immensely high-energy particles, mainly originating from somewhere outside the Solar System.

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RASC Regular Meeting May 8, 2017 Members’ Night

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 Member Presentations

RASC Members share their interests, projects, skills, and passions.

 

Susan & Rick Bramm – Astrotourism Adventures in New Mexico and Arizona

Ian Doktor – Raspberry Pi and other Homemade DIY stuff

Tom Owen – A historic 4″ telescope

Warren Finlay – How to access the Barry Arnold Memorial Telescope

Alister Ling – Tripod photography to tracking for free
and other regular features

 

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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