From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 3344 face-on. Nearly 40,000 light-years across, the big, beautiful spiral galaxy is located just 20 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo Minor. This multi-color Hubble Space Telescope close-up of NGC 3344 includes remarkable details from near infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths. The […]
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Colourful star trails arc through the night in this wide-angle mountain and skyscape. From a rotating planet, the digitally added consecutive exposures were made with a camera fixed to a tripod and looking south, over northern Iran’s Alborz Mountain range. The stars trace concentric arcs around the planet’s south celestial pole, below the scene’s rugged […]
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Last week, a car orbited the Earth. The car, created by humans and robots on the Earth, was launched by the SpaceX Company to demonstrate the ability of its Falcon Heavy Rocket to place spacecraft out in the Solar System. Purposely fashioned to be whimsical, the iconic car was thought a better demonstration object than […]
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Happy New Year everybody! To begin the year we’re doing something a little different. This month’s image is taken by Afsheen Rane, an amateur astronomer at University of Toronto. Photographed is the Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42) which is around 1300 light years away from Earth. Its brightness allows it to be visible […]
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Fans of our fair planet might recognize the outlines of these cosmic clouds. On the left, bright emission outlined by dark, obscuring dust lanes seems to trace a continental shape, lending the popular name North America Nebula to the emission region cataloged as NGC 7000. To the right, just off the North America Nebula’s east […]
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Star Talk: Warp Drives & Aliens

November 16, 2018
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star_talk_nov2018 “Warp Drives & Aliens” with Professor Bryan Gaensler

Date & Location: 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Nov. 21, McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP), Room 102, 60 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 1A7

Telescope observing: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM on 14th floor of McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP) (weather permitting) — you will be guided to the telescopes.

Abstract: Science fiction and science are both wondrous and inspiring, albeit in very different ways. At its best, science fiction asks profound questions about the human condition. In contrast, science asks — and often answers — even more profound questions about the very nature of matter, space and time. I am both a professional astrophysicist and a science-fiction fan, and sometimes my two great passions converge. Specifically, two of the ever-present themes explored in both fact and fiction are the prospect of journeying to other stars, and the possibility of life on other worlds. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the latest thinking on interstellar travel and on the search for alien life. The remarkable frontiers of current research provide a rich canvas to tell stories of our place in the cosmos.

About the Speaker: This star talk features Dr. Patrick Hall, a Ph.D. graduate in astronomy and astrophysics. Dr. Hall is currently a professor at York University and a contributor to the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. He specializes in quasars and blackholes, particularly in the outflows of gas and light from these active bodies.

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Star Talk: Quasars – Black Holes You Can “See”

October 10, 2018
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star_talk_oct2018“Quasars – Black Holes You Can ‘See'” with Dr. Patrick Hall

Date & Location: 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Oct. 24, McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP), Room 102, 60 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 1A7

Telescope observing: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM on 14th floor of McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP) (weather permitting) — you will be guided to the telescopes.

Abstract: Quasars are the brightest objects in our Universe. A quasar is a rotating disk as big as our solar system and hotter than the Sun, formed when matter spirals into a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy. Dr. Hall will discuss these fascinating objects and how they tap the strong gravity of black holes.

About the Speaker: This star talk features Dr. Patrick Hall, a Ph.D. graduate in astronomy and astrophysics. Dr. Hall is currently a professor at York University and a contributor to the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. He specializes in quasars and blackholes, particularly in the outflows of gas and light from these active bodies.

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Star Talk: Astronomical Alchemy

September 23, 2018
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star_talk_sept2018“Astronomical Alchemy” with Dr. Maria Drout

Date & Location: 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Sept. 26, McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP), Room 102, 60 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 1A7

Telescope observing: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM on 14th floor of McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP) (weather permitting) — you will be guided to the telescopes.

Abstract: As Carl Sagan once said, “We are made of star stuff.” However, each element has its own astronomical origins story. Elements are created everywhere from the centers of stars, to supernovae explosions, to the Big Bang itself. Dr. Drout will take us on a journey through the periodic table, highlighting how our recent discovery of a ‘kilonova’ associated with the cataclysmic merger of two neutron stars has filled in one of the final pieces of the elemental puzzle—the origin of many of the heaviest elements in the universe.

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Looking for New Executive Members!

September 6, 2018
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asx_recruitment_2Annnnnnnnnnnd we’re back! Hiya everybody, a new school year is upon us and here at the ASX we’re looking to fill a couple of empty executive positions. We are currently taking applications for the positions of Event Coordinator, Symposium Director, Web Designer, and Graphics Designer. A description of these roles can be found here.

To apply please fill out this Google form

Applications will close September 13, 2018.

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May 2018: Picture of the Month

May 7, 2018
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picture_of_the_month_may2018

Why is there a large boulder near the center of Tycho’s peak? Tycho crater on the Moon is one of the easiest features to see, visible even to the unaided eye (inset, lower right). But at the center of Tycho (inset, upper left) is a something unusual — a 120-meter boulder. This boulder was imaged at very high resolution at sunrise, over the past decade, by the Moon-circling Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The leading origin hypothesis is that that the boulder was thrown during the tremendous collision that formed Tycho crater about 110 million years ago, and by chance came back down right near the center of the newly-formed central mountain. Over the next billion years meteor impacts and moonquakes should slowly degrade Tycho’s center, likely causing the central boulder to tumble 2000 meters down to the crater floor and disintegrate.

For more information, check out APOD!

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