Monthly Archives March 2017

ASX Annual General Meeting for 2017-2018 Elections

March 31, 2017
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ASX will be holding its Annual General Meeting to elect the 2017-2018 executive team, and celebrate the end of a great year with FREE food!

Date: Monday, April 3, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Astronomy Building (50 St.George Street), Room 114

If you are a student at the University of Toronto and you are an ASX member (i.e., you are on our mailing list), then you are eligible to vote and to run for an executive position. To run, email before 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 2. You can state up to three executive positions that you intend on running for in order of preference, and come prepared with a short speech of no more than 3 minutes for each position. If you wish to run for more than one position, please tailor your speech to each of the positions you intend on running for. At the AGM, voting will follow the procedure outlined in the ASX Constitution, section 6.
*Note that if a candidate wishes to run for President, Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary, then they require a nomination from two other ASX members.

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Star Talk: The Algonquin Pulsar Project

March 11, 2017
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star_talk_feb “The Algonquin Pulsar Project”, with Professor Ue-Li Pen

Abstract: The Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO), built in 1965, along with the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) are the first to achieve long baseline interferometry (VLBI), whereby two single-dish telescopes are combined to provide the same resolution as a telescope the size of Canada.

CITA, the Dunlap Institute, and the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics collectively have continued the Canadian VLBI tradition with a new program to conduct transnational interferometric observations of pulsars and fast radio bursts (FRBs). The former has been named “scintillometry,” whose purpose is to utilize VLBI on earth in combination with scattering in the interstellar medium (ISM) to create an effective telescope size of ~astronomical unit to study pulsars and the intervening matter between us and them. The latter could provide the first ever spatial localization of FRBs.

Pulsar VLBI is located at the Algonquin Radio Observatory, which is visited frequently for data collection. The Crab pulsar will be studied using scintillometry techniques and VLBI. To obtain better images, one would need a telescope with a larger diameter. An easy way to increase diameter was to combine the signals from multiple telescopes using them as an interferometer thus creating VLBI. The data collected at Algonquin are synced up to data collected with other telescopes across the world. The radio waves that is emitted from the pulses propagate to telescopes on earth directly and indirectly via deflections on a scattering screen in the interstellar medium in space. The different paths interfere thus causing scintillation. By observing the scintillation with multiple telescopes on Earth, it is possible to estimate the pulsar’s position with extremely high precision.

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