RASC Regular Meeting April 9, 2018, Galaxy mergers in the nearby Universe

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

7:00 PM Meet and Greet
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Sara Ellison
Galaxy mergers in the nearby Universe

The Antennae Galaxies/NGC 4038-4039
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration;
Acknowledgment: B. Whitmore (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Despite the emptiness of space, mergers between galaxies are surprisingly common.  Around 1% of galaxies in the nearby Universe are currently experiencing an interaction of some kind.  I will describe research that uses both observations and computer simulations to trace the dramatic effect of these interactions on a galaxy’s history: how the interaction can lead to massive bursts of star formation, alter the interstellar chemistry and even provide fuel for the central supermassive black hole.

 

 

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RASC Regular Meeting March 12, 2018, 25 Years of Supernovae

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

7:00 PM Meet and Greet
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Paul Gray
25 Years of Supernovae

Supernova Remnant SNR 0509-67.5 Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, SAO, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and J. Hughes (Rutgers University)

Supernovae mark the death of a star in one of the largest explosions in the universe, some resulting in the creation of black holes. They also create many of the heavy elements that earth and life as we know it is made from. For most of the 20th century supernovae were found by professional astronomers in the course of other research. By the 1980’s equipment and technology improved to allow amateurs to seriously pursue supernovae and contribute to research by alerting the professionals quckly of new events. There is much to learn from supernovae and until recently amateurs played a major role in the discovery of new supernovae.

Team Supernova Nova Scotia has had a front row seat to the changes both in discovery and science being done over the past 25 years. In this talk Paul will take us on the journey that his family has had while highlighting some of their discoveries, adventures and science.

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RASC Regular Meeting February 12, 2018, Kilonovae and the origin of gold in the Universe

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

7:00 PM Meet and Greet
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Rodrigo Fernandez
Kilonovae and the origin of gold in the Universe

Credit: Caltech

This talk will discuss the recent detection of a neutron star merger in gravitational waves by LIGO/Virgo, and the accompanying electromagnetic signal (a kilonova). There is strong evidence that heavy r-process elements (including gold) are made in these events.

 

 

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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.

6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Tribute to Franklin Loehde
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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