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October 12th Meeting – Club AGM + 2 Speakers

We’re asking for members to meet at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, at 7 PM on 12 October for a brief AGM at which we will be voting for the new executive.

chris gainor 2018

At 7:30 PM, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents two speakers. The first is Dr. Chris Gainor, a historian specializing in the history of space flight and aeronautics. He has five published books. He is also President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. Chris’ topic will be: History of the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched 28 years ago in 1990. After overcoming problems caused by a defective main mirror, Hubble has made discoveries that have revolutionized our view of the universe we live in. This talk will cover the history of HST based on a history book the speaker is writing for NASA.

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The second speaker is Sarah Savić Kallesøe, a Simon Fraser University undergraduate student involved with the research and public outreach affairs of the Trottier Observatory since its inception in 2015. As the first student with training and access to the observatory, Sarah has led imaging projects, astronomy workshops, and data collection sessions. In 2017, Sarah was invited to conduct research with the graduate student observational astrophysics group at the Niels Bohr Physics Institute, University of Copenhagen, where she was the youngest member and the only Canadian accepted. Her research was conducted at the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma of the Spanish Canary Islands and focused on quasar identification and classification of novel supernovae. The results of this project were published in the Astronomer’s Telegram and included in the NASA Astrophysics Database.

Sarah will graduate from SFU with a First Class Distinction Bachelor’s of Science in Population and Quantitative Health Sciences in June 2019. She is the 2019 BC Rhodes Scholar nominee for SFU and her career aspiration is to contribute to the World Health Organization’s research relating to the well-being of migrants and their access to health care services. While her formal undergraduate education in public health does not directly relate to astronomy, she appreciates the complexity of both systems. Beyond academia and astronomy, Sarah thoroughly enjoys exploring BC’s nature her Scout group.

Sarah’s topic will be her experience of researching with the Niels Bohr Physics Institute at the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands. This includes her observational astrophysics opportunities at the Niels Bohr Physics Institute and how to get involved, the culture of astronomy at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma and what makes it one of the best night-sky observing locations in the world, the experience of conducting research at the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma, an overview of the fourteen observatories at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, and details of the August 2017 research on quasars and supernovae at the Nordic Optical Telescope

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Dr. William Wall: 11 May 2018

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At 7:30 PM, 11 May 2018, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents Dr. William Wall, whose topic is: Basic Properties of the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano.

The Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano is a world-class radio telescope and is the largest scientific project in Mexico. The LMT is technologically advanced, permitting it to observe the much of the universe, thereby expanding the frontiers of science. Using examples from everyday life, I will illustrate the impressive technological capabilities of the LMT.  I will also discuss the benefits transferred to industry by the scientific developments required by the LMT project.

 

Dr. William Wall was born in Canada. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, his M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia, his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at NASA GSFC in Greenbelt, Maryland. He’s currently a researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Tonantzintla, Puebla, Mexico. His research

involves observational studies of the interstellar medium, using radio telescopes, including the LMT. He occasionally gives talks to the public about the LMT.

 

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Two Speakers for February 2018

At 7:30 PM, 9 March 2018, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents Vancouver Centre President Leigh Cummings, who will be doing a presentation on Mars Exploration.

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Speaker for 9 June: Julio Navarro

navarro_0Our speaker at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, 5714 Medusa St, Sechelt, at 7:30 PM on Friday, June 9, will be Dr. Julio Navarro, whose topic will be Dark Matter and Dark Energy: the puzzling forces that shape our Universe. Admittance is by donation.

Speaker for 12 May: Dr. Sun Kwok

stardust_b (2)At 7:30 PM, 12 May 2017, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, The Sunshine Coast Centre welcomes Dr. Sun Kwok, whose topic will be “Stardust: the cosmic seeds of life.” How did life originate on Earth?  For over 50 years, scientists believed that life was the result of chemistry involving simple molecules such as methane and ammonia cooking in a primordial soup.  Recent space observations have revealed that old stars are capable of making very complex organic compounds.  The stars then ejected the organics and spread them all over the Milky Way Galaxy.  There is evidence that these organic dust particles actually reached the early Solar System.  Through bombardments by comets and asteroids, the early Earth inherited significant amounts of star dust.  Was the development of life assisted by the arrival of these extraterrestrial materials?  In this talk, we describe discoveries in astronomy and solar system science over the last 10 years that resulted in a new perspective on the origin of life.

Prof. Sun Kwok’s research areas are astrochemistry and stellar evolution.  He is best known for his theory on the origin of planetary nebulae and the death of Sun-like stars.  His recent research has been on the topic of the synthesis of complex organic compounds in the late stages of stellar evolution.  He is the author of many books, including The Origin and Evolution of Planetary Nebulae (Cambridge, 2000), Cosmic Butterflies (Cambridge, 2001), Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium (University Science Books, 2007), Organic Matter in the Universe (Wiley, 2012), and Stardust: the cosmic seeds of life (Springer, 2013).  He has been a guest observer on many space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Infrared Space Observatory.

Prof. Kwok currently serves as President of IAU International Astronomical Union (IAU), Commission on Astrobiology.  Previously, he has served as the President of IAU Commission on Interstellar Matter (2012-2015) and chairman of IAU Planetary Nebulae Working Group (1994-2001).

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Cosmic Rays in the Classroom: Francesca Crema

 

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At 7:30 PM, Friday, 14 April 2017, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, The Sunshine Coast Centre welcomes Francesca Crema, whose topic will be “Cosmic Rays in the Classroom: My experiences with muons, variable stars, and project-based learning.”

Francesca Crema is a 17-year-old grade 12 student participating in Templeton Secondary’s STEM Program in Vancouver who intends to pursue a career in the sciences, specifically physics (specifically, high-energy particle physics). Francesca is the youngest at-large council member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, serving on the council of the RASC’s Vancouver center as their youth rep.

Ever since joining her school’s STEM program, Francesca has received the opportunity to research and analyze data collected from a cosmic ray detector, and is currently studying spectroscopy and photometry at the SFU Trottier observatory. Francesca has been updating old data (e.g.: radial velocity, apparent magnitude) on RT Aurigae. Because her school’s STEM program has provided her with these opportunities and more, she will also talk about it and detail the benefits of project-based learning. Her talk will detail her experiences with these projects, as well as provide an introduction to the scientific principles – from elementary particles to variable stars – that they are based on.

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

NOTE: RASC members will hold a very brief 10 minute meeting at the outset to vote on the new bylaws.

Sunshine Coast RASC President Charles Ennis:

 

 

Speaker 10 February: Dr. Howard Trottier

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Dr. Howard Trottier

Our speaker at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, at 7:30 PM on Friday, 10 February, 2017, will be Dr. Howard Trottier, who will be speaking about “Outreach, Education, and Science at Simon Fraser University’s Trottier Observatory and Science Plaza.”

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Telescope at the Trottier Observatory at SFU