Category Archives: Speaker Night

November 24: Tanya N. Harrison, Ph.D: The Past and Present of Water on Mars

Dr. Tanya Harrison is a “Professional Martian” and the Director of Research for the NewSpace Initiative at Arizona State University. She has worked on multiple NASA Mars missions in science and operations, and specializes in the geology of the Red Planet. Tanya holds a Ph.D. in Geology with a Specialization in Planetary Science and Exploration.

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2074 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Oct 27: Randy Attwood – Voyager at 40

*** Due to construction we will meet in room SE2074  (just down the hall) ***
Randy Attwood is the Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). He has been fascinated with astronomy and space exploration since the days of the Apollo missions.

Randy’s talk will focus on the missions of the two Voyager spacecraft that were launched in 1977 – 40 years ago this year. Over a period of 12 years, they explored the four outer planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The discoveries changed our understanding of our solar system.

This talk will look at the mission and the discoveries as well as some of the challenges Voyager engineers faced in taking late 1960’s spacecraft technology – which lasted only a couple years in space – and extended the lifetime to the required 12 years to complete the mission – and beyond. Now the two spacecraft are leaving the solar system and providing information on the heliopause – the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space.

For more information, see the Earthshine notice: Earthshine

September 22: Catherine Woodford: “The Discovery of Gravitational Waves”

*** Due to construction we will meet in room SE2072 (just down the hall) ***
Catherine Woodford,
University of Toronto

Get an up-close and personal take on the Gravitational Waves discovery that has changed science for the better. Considered the most influential discovery of the century, gravitational wave GW150914 broke records in physics, astronomy, and interferometry – with still more to come. We will talk about what went into the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) that discovered GW150914 from theoretical, engineering, and computer simulation viewpoints, and discuss the outlooks on the future of gravitational wave astronomy.

Catherine Woodford is a 2nd year PhD candidate in the Physics Department at the University of Toronto and works at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). Her research falls into two streams: binary black hole simulations and exoplanet simulations. She is a a member of the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) collaboration and the Centre for Planetary Sciences (CPS), as well as a planetarium operator for the Dunlap Institute and outreach fanatic. When she’s not thinking or looking at the sky and what lies beyond, she’s volunteering with the Rotary Club of Toronto, cycling, running, and snowboarding.

For further information, check out the Earthshine notice: Earthshineastronomy

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2072 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

June 23: Prof. Michael De Robertis: “Life Beyond Earth”

*** Due to construction we will meet in room SE2074  (just down the hall) ***
https://i1.rgstatic.net/ii/profile.image/AS%3A278839474311176%401443491919238_l/Michael_De_Robertis.pngProf. Michael De Robertis,
York University

“Is there life elsewhere” is one of the key questions that Astronomers face today. Join us as Prof. Michael De Robertis presents the latest scientific findings and techniques.

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2074 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

May 26: Prof. Paul Delaney: Exoplanetary Update: Proxima Centauri b

*** Due to construction we will meet in room SE2074  (just down the hall) ***

Prof. Paul Delaney, York University

Thousands of exoplanets and exoplanetary candidates have been detected suggesting that exoplanets are very common. In 2016 it was discovered that the very closest star to our own Sun, Proxima Centauri b, harbours a planet.

This presentation will summarize the state of exoplanetary research and look at the likelihood of exploring the Proxima Centauri star system in the relatively near future.

For more information, see the Earthshine notice: Earthshine

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2074 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

Mar 24: Dr. Jennifer West: Supernova remnants and how they are connected to our galaxy

Dr. Jennifer West: Supernova remnants and how they are connected to our galaxy.

Jennifer is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the David Dunlap Institute. She uses large radio surveys and radio polarimetry to study magnetic fields in supernova remnants and in the Milky Way Galaxy. She is working with Prof. Bryan Gaensler – who gave us a talk last year – to analyze data from the upcoming POSSUM (Polarisation Sky Survey of the Universe’s Magnetism) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP).

For more information, visit the Earthshine events page: Earthshine events

Fri Nov 25th – Dr. Dave Dev – “Space Medicine”

SPECIAL RAFFLE PRIZE: SIGNED copy of “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by Chris Hadfield

Come anspace-medicined hear about the myriad hazards to the body in near earth orbit.  Our talk will focus on various disease states from space travel, and the clever ways space medicine tries to mitigate the risks.

 

For more information, see the Earthshine notice: Earthshine

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2082 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

Fri Oct 28th – Randy Attwood, “Amateur Astronomy Today – A Status Report”

randyAmateur astronomy has changed drastically over the past 50 years. Telescopes made in the basement have been replaced with high quality instruments capable of performing astronomical research. Those new to astronomy are confronted with computerized telescopes and unfortunately, disappearing skies due to light pollution

There is a great opportunity for amateur astronomers to reach members of the public and promote science literacy and critical thinking. Since young people are attracted to astronomy and space science, we have an opportunity to encourage young people to embrace “STEAM” and pursue careers in science and technology.

Randy Attwood has been looking up for most of his life. His interest in space and astronomy was sparked during the summer of 1969 with the first moon landing. Since then he has observed and photographed the night sky, chased solar eclipses across the globe and witnessed several space shuttle and rocket launches. He often appears in the media to comment on various astronomy and space exploration stories. To recognize his contributions to science public outreach, asteroid 265235 was named Asteroid Attwood in 2012.

For more information, see the Earthshine notice: Earthshine

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2082 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

Fri Sep 23th – Julie Tomé, “There and Back Again”

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will soon be headed to asteroid Bennu on a sample return mission.

osiris-rex

What questions are mission scientists hoping to answer? Who gets to play with the space dirt? Why was Bennu chosen? Will we need Bruce Willis to blow it up? Learn the answers to these questions and more!

Julie Tomé has earned a Hon. BSc in Physics & Astronomy from York University (’03), a BEd from the University of Ottawa (‘04), and a graduate diploma in Science Communication from Laurentian University (’07). As a Museum Teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum, Julie shares her passion for all things science and history with young and old through school programs, camps, exhibitions, and special programs.

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2082 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

Fri June 24th – George Conidis: “Two Galaxies To Rule Them All”

George ConidisOur observable Universe hosts hundreds of billions of galaxies distributed unevenly in a sponge-like configuration known as the Cosmic Web. The web can be classified into four distinct groups: voids (empty regions with no/few galaxies), walls/sheets, filaments, and nodes/clusters.

These structures are seeded to grow from physical processes at the earliest times in the Universe. Thus, internal to each void, sheet, filament, and node, there is embedded information about how the adolescent Universe behaved.

One of the primordial signatures embedded in large scale structure is the organization of a member galaxy’s orientation to their host Cosmic Web structure. Our host galaxy, the Milky Way, lives in a sheet of galaxies known as the Local Sheet. As it turns out, the Milky Way and its companion the Andromeda galaxy are the peculiar culprits behind bullying their neighbors into misalignment with the sheet and theoretical predictions.

George Conidis is a PhD Candidate in Physics & Astronomy at York University. He was recently presented with the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation for research that includes discovering 174 galactic neighborhoods that mirror our own: Article in The Star

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2082 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of theDavis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the mainfloor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!