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Speaker for April 12: Alan Dyer

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At 7:30 PM, 2019 April 12, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents the renowned astrophotographer Alan Dyer, whose topic will be “Chasing the Northern Lights”. Alan will recount his tales of chasing the aurora in Canada and Norway, with many images and movies of the Northern Lights, including of the infamous “Steve” aurora.

Alan Dyer is co-author with Terence Dickinson of The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, and most recently of ebooks on astrophotography. He is a contributing editor to SkyNews and Sky & Telescope magazines, and a contributor to the annual RASC Observer’s Handbook. His photos and videos have appeared on Spaceweather.com, National Geographic, CBSNews, and more. The asteroid #78434 is named in his honour.

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Speaker for 8 March: Eric Lanoix

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At 7:30 PM, 2019 March 8, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents Eric Lanoix (https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-lanoix-frm-b276676a/). Eric is passionate about finding simple and intuitive solutions to complex problems. For the better part of two decades, he worked with the Canadian Space Agency and with NASA contractors on human space exploration. He contributed to the development of several spacecraft in the areas of systems engineering, trajectory analysis, and robotic capture. He also supported a number of space missions from Mission Control Houston. To date, the spacecraft he focused on (HTV, Cargo Dragon) have completed 21 successful re-supply missions for the International Space Station. More recently, Eric also worked on the development of the Crew Dragon. Later this year, this spacecraft will become the first American vehicle since the Space Shuttle to carry humans to space.

An avid life-long learner of science, finance, and history, Eric holds a master’s degree in engineering (McGill), another in finance (Simon Fraser University), as well as the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification. Eric is now based in the Lower Mainland and leads a team of specialists in charge of quantitative risk management at a local banking institution.

In their free time, Eric and his wife Natalie enjoy hiking among rivers and mountains, travelling, and dancing Argentine tango.

As a specialist in the area of orbital rendezvous and capture, Eric looks forward to sharing the history and future of this essential but little-known spaceflight operation with the RASC.

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Speaker for 11 January: Paul Gray

paul grayAt 7:30 PM, 11 January 2019, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents Paul Gray, the editor of the RASC Calendar, who will be doing a presentation on Dark Nebulae. A dark nebula or absorption nebula is an interstellar cloud so dense that it obscures the light from objects behind it, such as background stars and emission or reflection nebulae. Interstellar dust grains, coasted with frozen carbon monoxide and nitrogen, in in the coldest, densest parts of larger clouds effectively block the passage of light at visible wavelengths. These clouds are the spawning grounds of stars and planets, and understanding their development is essential to understanding star formation.

The largest dark nebulae, like the Coalsack Nebula and the Great Rift, are visible to the naked eye, appearing as dark patches against the brighter background of the Milky Way.

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.

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.

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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.