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January 2017: Picture of the Month

February 5, 2017
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The spiky stars in the foreground of this cosmic portrait are well within the Milky Way while the two galaxies are at a distance of 300 million light-years from us. Cataloged as Arp 273 (also as UGC 1810), the distorted appearance of these galaxies are due to gravitational tides caused by close encounters between the pair. Interacting galaxies are understood to be common – in fact, repeated galaxy encounters can ultimately result in a merger of one single galaxy.

For more information, check out APOD!

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ASX 14th Annual Symposium “What Ifs: Is the Impossible, Possible?”

January 7, 2017
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The wait is over; ASX is proud to announce our 14th Annual Symposium “What Ifs: Is the Impossible, Possible?”! This 14th Annual Symposium will be held on January 27th, from 6:30 – 11:00 pm.

We are honoured to be featuring Gurtina Besla, assistant professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona and PI of the outreach project TIMESTEP; David Kipping, Professor at Columbia University and lead of the Cool Worlds Lab; and Quinn Konopacky, assistant professor at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences – University of California, San Diego.

TICKETING: Eventbrite

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December 2016: Picture of the Month

December 30, 2016
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This recently released image of the elliptical galaxy NGC 4696 from the Hubble Space Telescope shows long filaments of dust and gas appearing to connect to a central region. The region is thought to contain a supermassive black hole, which is pumping out energy. The heating of the surrounding region is pushing out cooler dust and gas and shutting down star formation. Balanced by the magnetic field, these filaments appear to spiral in and circle the black hole.

For more information, check out APOD!

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November 2016: Picture of the Month

December 30, 2016
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Imaged at the millimeter wavelengths with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile, a triple star system is forming within the dusty disk some 750 light years away in the Perseus molecular cloud. The system consists of two protostars separated by a distance of 61 astronomical units and a third protostar at a distance of 183 astronomical units from the central protostar. The star system also has a spiral structure, indicating instability and fragmentation which can lead to multiple protostellar objects within the disk. This star-forming scenario is likely common, as almost half of all sun-like stars have at least one companion star.

For more information, check out APOD!

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Star Talk: The quest for 1% – the past, present and future for measuring the Hubble Constant and the expansion of the Universe

November 13, 2016
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star_talk_oct “The quest for 1%: the past, present and future for measuring the Hubble Constant and the expansion of the Universe”, presented by Professor Hilding Neilson

Abstract: Almost a century ago, Edwin Hubble discovered that galaxies appear to be moving away from us and that farther galaxies moved at faster rates. This discovery revolutionized our view of the Universe and started the field of modern cosmology. Ever since, astronomers have been trying to better measure the expansion of the Universe, the Hubble constant, using numerous standard candles. In this talk, Professor Neilson will talk about the rich history of measuring the Hubble constant from some of the great arguments to the paradigm shift initiated by the results of the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project. He will conclude by discussing the future for measuring the Hubble constant to 1% precision to shed new insights into the dark matter and dark energy content of the Universe.

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