Category Archives: Speaker Night

JUN 21: SPEAKER NIGHT: Ben Feist, NASA

It’s a GO!

Ben at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab

Ben Feist of Toronto, who worked on the 2019 Documentary Apollo 11

Topic: “Apollo 11 – bringing the Apollo program to a new generation”

Buzz Aldrin working at the Scientific Equipment Bay, being sure to not take any pictures of Neil . Photo by Neil Armstrong.

Ben Feist, a local from Toronto, is the creator of Apollo17.org, and was part of the team who made the 2019 Documentary Apollo 11. He will take RASC members through his latest project, Apollo 11 in Real Time: a website that presents the entire historical mission archive in a multimedia experience and contains over 11,000 hours of mission control audio that hasn’t been heard since 1969. Ben will also talk about his new job at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he is applying new ideas to mission data management and visualization based on his historical work

For more information: Earthshine Astronomy

More information on Ben’s work with NASA: http://benfeist.com/from-apollo-17-to-nasa/

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.

Park in parking deck P4 or P8, across from the Recreation and Wellness (Fitness) Centre south of the Davis Building. The parking rate is $2 per hour or $6 maximum. Consider paying the maximum, which will allow you to park all night. If not, you should return to your vehicle before your time expires to avoid being ticketed.

Enter the Davis Building 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 main floor. Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

May 24: SPEAKER NIGHT: Renée Hložek, Assistant Professor of Astrophysics, U of T

Check back for a GO / NO Go on Fri May 24 by 4 PM

Topic:”Echoes of Our Beginnings”

By listening to the cold, dim hiss of the universe, we can learn about its fiery beginning. Prof. Renée Hlozek’s talk will focus on how cosmologists use microwave instruments to measure this birth-light. She’ll describe the exciting new Simons Observatory in the Atacama Desert of Chile, and how it will allow us to learn about the beautiful universe we live in. As we learn about what the universe contains, how it started and ultimately how it is going to end.

Renée Hložek is an Assistant Professor of Astrophysics at the Dunlap Institute and in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. She is a TED Senior Fellow and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Before that she completed her DPhil in Astrophysics from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. Beyond her research she is passionate about outreach and the public understanding of science.

For more information: Earthshine Astronomy

Continue reading May 24: SPEAKER NIGHT: Renée Hložek, Assistant Professor of Astrophysics, U of T

APR 26: SPEAKER NIGHT: CHARISSA CAMPBELL – MARTIAN WATER-ICE CLOUDS

The meeting is a GO – see you there!

Clouds on Mars have been observed from the surface and orbit to better understand the role of water in the Martian atmosphere. During aphelion, atmospheric temperatures are cool enough in the equatorial regions to allow water-ice to nucleate on dust particles, revealing the Aphelion Cloud Belt (ACB).

Both Opportunity and Curiosity have studied the ACB, while Phoenix was confined to cloud studies near the north pole.

Several properties of Martian water-ice clouds have been studied including optical depth, frequency through a sol (Martian day) and wind parameters. One parameter, altitude, is difficult to measure from the surface without a lidar instrument. Unlike Phoenix, Curiosity does not have a lidar and must rely on atmospheric models to help estimate altitude through correlations between observational and modelled results. Evaluating this parameter for the ACB can help determine the behaviour of water-ice clouds throughout the low and middle atmosphere.

Ms. Charissa Campbell completed her Bachelor of Science in Astronomy & Physics from Saint Mary’s University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Astronomy & Physics at York University under Dr. John Moores, where she is part of the MSL team analyzing the altitude of clouds on Mars. Her focus is on analyzing atmospheric movies to find the altitude of Martian clouds and has displayed her research progress at the 2017 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).

Watch Martian Clouds Scoot
(https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/watch-martian-clouds-scoot-thanks-to-nasas-curiosity),
Thanks to NASA’s Curiosity and some amazing imagery created by Charissa as a member of a York University team led by John Moores.

For more information: Earthshine Astronomy

Continue reading APR 26: SPEAKER NIGHT: CHARISSA CAMPBELL – MARTIAN WATER-ICE CLOUDS

MAR 22: SPEAKER NIGHT: Professor Mark Rector – OH CANADA! Our Home and Inventive Land!

Everything looks good, the meeting is a go!

The leg of the Lunar Module was designed and built in Canada!

Did you know Canadians invented and built everything from the legs on the NASA lunar lander (the lander itself was designed by a Canadian!) to the most advanced robot in this world (or out of it!)? The Canadarm 2 that built the entire International Space Station! We have invented or designed everything from the most advanced supersonic jet fighter of the 20th century, the Avro Arrow built right here in Mississauga, to the first geo-synchronous communications satellite to be launched into space.

For more information: (NOT WORKING YET) Earthshine Astronomy

Continue reading MAR 22: SPEAKER NIGHT: Professor Mark Rector – OH CANADA! Our Home and Inventive Land!

Feb 22: AGM & Randy Attwood – The Apollo 9 and 10 Missions – preparing a path for a manned lunar landing

Everything looks good, the meeting is a go!

In honour of our Annual Meeting, THERE WILL BE CAKE!

Apollo 9 LM “Spider”

Following our annual general meeting – where we will review the club activities and financials for last year – we’ll have a fascinating talk about the two Apollo missions that lead up to the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, given by our resident expert on All-Things-Space, Randy Attwood.

By February 1969 – 50 years ago – NASA was still celebrating the successful Christmas Apollo 8 mission to the Moon. The Lunar Landing looked doable in 1969. Still, there was much to be done before the first landing attempt. In March and May 1969, two Apollo missions were flown to answer several questions – what was it like to fly the Lunar Module – first in the Earth environment, then in orbit around the Moon. The success of these two missions paved the way to a landing attempt in July 1969 on the Apollo 11 mission.

For more information: Earthshine Astronomy

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.

Park in parking deck P4 or P8, across from the Recreation and Wellness (Fitness) Centre south of the Davis Building. The parking rate is $2 per hour or $6 maximum. Consider paying the maximum, which will allow you to park all night. If not, you should return to your vehicle before your time expires to avoid being ticketed.

Enter the Davis Building 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 main floor. Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

JAN 25: SPEAKER NIGHT: MICHAEL WATSON AND RANDY ATTWOOD – THE 1979 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

The February 26, 1979 Eclipse from Gimli Manitoba

Forty years ago, the Toronto Centre mounted an expedition to observe the February 26, 1979 total solar eclipse from Gimli, Manitoba. Before organized tours to see eclipses were readily available, the Toronto Centre organized their own trip – with two chartered aircraft which left early eclipse morning and returned to Toronto later that day. The trip organizer, Michael Watson will review the circumstances of the eclipse and the efforts required to organize the expedition. A slide/audio presentation of the day trip was produced back in 1979. A newly edited video of the slide show, edited and produced by Randy Attwood, will be shown for the first time.

For more information: Earthshine Astronomy

Continue reading JAN 25: SPEAKER NIGHT: MICHAEL WATSON AND RANDY ATTWOOD – THE 1979 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

Dec 7: Special Speaker Night: Andy Chaikin – Stories From Apollo 8

Talk Description:  Stories From Apollo 8
*** IT’S A GO FOR TONIGHT *** 

NOTE: This special event will be held in UTM Room 120 in the Instructional Center – located here: Campus Map

December 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 Moon mission. Andy Chaikin will share stories from the historic mission including anecdotes from his interviews with the 3 Apollo 8 astronauts, and details on the mission’s origins and aftermath from his own in-depth research.

Event details: Chaikin Special Event

For more information go to: Earthshine Astronomy

Nov 23: Speaker Night: Dr Mike Fich – New Frontiers In Observational Cosmology

Talk Description:  New Frontiers In Observational Cosmology

*** IT’S A GO ***

Our most recent generation of cosmology experiments, such as the Planck satellite and observations of distant supernovae, has reduced all of cosmology to the very precise measurement of eight parameters. This relatively simple model seems complete with no hints of additional elements required to explain the entire evolution of the universe from the big bang to some far distant future. These recent results include such things as the precise measurement of the contributors to the overall mass–energy density of the universe. We know with great precision the amount of dark energy, dark matter, neutrinos, baryons, etc., in the universe today. What we do not know is exactly what most of these things really are.

For more information go to: Earthshine Astronomy

Oct 26: Speaker Night: Dr Laura Parker – The Dark Universe

Talk Description:  The Dark Universe

*** IT’S A GO ***

Observational astronomers use telescopes that look at the furthest distances in the Universe to look back in time and trace the growth of structure in the cosmos. Recent multi-wavelength measurements have helped us to constrain the components that make up the Universe and how those components evolve. We now know that most of the Universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy, but the nature of these components remains largely unknown. In this talk I will give an overview of the techniques used to map the universe on the largest scales, which have enabled us to measure dark energy and dark matter.

For more information go to: Earthshine Astronomy

Event details: Dark Universe

June 8: Dr. John Moores – “Solar System Exploration – An Update”

Dr. John Moores of York University will give a talk titled “Solar System Exploration – An Update”.

John is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York University and a Participating Scientist on the Curiosity Rover. He trained on MER in 2004 and contributed to the 2005 Huygens Mission to Titan and the 2008 Phoenix Mission to the Martian Arctic: Here is more information about John.

Over the last few years, rovers, orbiters and flyby missions have improved our understanding of our own solar system. At Mars, Curiosity and Maven have revolutionized our understanding of present and ancient Mars. Further out, Dawn has given us our first view of the hydrated asteroid Ceres. Meanwhile, Juno has shown us the surprising shape of the Jovian poles. And, of course, New Horizons at Pluto has uncovered the Solar System’s heart.

In the coming years, the tradition at Mars will be carried on by the Trace Gas Orbiter and Insight missions. Europa Clipper will take a closer look at Jupiter’s most enigmatic moon. Our first mission to the Jovian Trojans (Lucy) and to an iron asteroid (Psyche) will take place. New Horizons will arrive at the most distant object in the solar system ever visited. Throughout, we are gaining an underlying understanding of how planets work, setting us up to make discoveries in planetary systems around distant stars throughout our galaxy..

More on this and other events: Earthshine Astronomy

Directions to UTM
(http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/about-us/contact-us/maps-directions)

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 the Davis 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 main floor.) 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!