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Stardust: ASX and the Star Spot Live Interview with Marshall McCall

February 23, 2014
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This upcoming Thursday, February 27th, the Astronomy and Space Exploration Society will be collaborating with The Star Spot in a live interview with Dr. Marshall McCall. The event will start at 8 p.m. and will be held in the McLennan Physical Laboratories(MP), room 134.

About our guest:

Marshall McCall is an astronomer who has spent most of his research life studying the structure, evolution, and formation of galaxies and galaxy aggregates. He is a professor at York University, where he has been based since 1988. Since 2005, he has been Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy there. Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., he has been interested in space and astronomy since kindergarten, which is when his mother towed him into the night to see Sputnik. His professional skills were initially honed as a gardener at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. After acquiring a B.Sc. from the University of Victoria, he went on to graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Before returning to Canada, he spent two years observing southern skies at Mt. Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories in Australia. His primary research adversary is interstellar dust, and he has spent a good deal of time uncovering what lies behind it, including two hitherto unknown galaxies in the back yard of the Milky Way and the Local Sheet of galaxies in which we reside.

The Star Spot, with Justin Trottier, is a space themed podcast and radio show focusing on all aspects of astronomy and space exploration. Episodes feature interviews with guests of wide-ranging backgrounds: scientists, engineers, educators, artists, politicians, and business people. Topics are similarly broad, from the latest space mission to how the universe began, from why humans explore space to how we can make space exploration economical. The show also includes a short news segment called Current in Space, bringing you reports on the latest happenings and developments that may be of interest to the space enthusiast.

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2014 Dunlap Prize Lecture with Neil deGrasse Tyson

February 7, 2014
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The March 21st Dunlap Prize Lecture with the one and only Neil deGrasse Tyson is coming up soon. Tickets are free but registration is required. Tickets are not yet available, however you can sign up for announcements on the website here.

From the Dunlap Institute: “Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson will deliver a free public lecture at 8pm on March 21, 2014, in Convocation Hall, University of Toronto. The talk is being given in conjunction with Dr. Tyson receiving the inaugural Dunlap Prize, and will include an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The Dunlap Prize is being awarded to Dr. Tyson in recognition of his remarkable efforts to communicate astronomy to the public, an achievement that resonates with the Dunlap Institute’s goal of excellence in astronomy and astrophysics.

Dr. Tyson is an exceptional communicator, a prolific author and writer, was the host of PBS’s NOVA ScienceNOW, and currently hosts the popular StarTalk Radio podcast. He is the presenter of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, the much-awaited follow-up to Carl Sagan’s landmark television series to be broadcast in 2014.

Dr. Tyson received his PhD in astrophysics from Columbia University and, following postdoctoral work at Princeton, became founding Chair of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. There he was project scientist for the reconstruction of the Hayden Planetarium, where he is now Astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director.”

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ASX 11th Annual Symposium “Into the Cosmos”

December 24, 2013
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Location and Time:JJR MacLeod Auditorium (MS 2158), 1 King’s College Circle from 7-10 pm the night of Friday, January 24, 2014.
Tickets available at Eventbrite.

This is the 11th annual symposium organized by ASX. This event aims to educate the public on some aspects of cosmology, and encourage students and the public to get informed and involved in the exciting projects and discoveries in cosmology. In the past, the symposium has featured famous astronauts, numerous top researchers, and leaders in the space industry. Previously, this annual event had attracted more than 600 audience members.

We are honored to be featuring:

Professor Anthony Aguirre (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Professor Matt Dobbs (University of McGill)

Professor Rafael Lopez-Mobilia (University of Texas at San Antonio)

Professor Anthony Aguirre from University of California, Santa Cruz

During the past two decades astronomers and cosmologists have assembled an extremely successful model that accurately describes and explains the evolution of the observable universe over the past 13.8 billion years, most recently confirmed with amazing accuracy by the PLANCK satellite’s observations of the cosmic microwave background. A key component of this cosmological “standard model” is the theory of Inflation, in which at ultra-early times the universe was expanding exponentially. Originally envisaged as an important but brief cosmological epoch, since Inflation’s invention cosmologists have realized that in many cases inflation completely upends our picture of the ultra large-scale structure of the universe, and suggests that the universe lasts forever, may not have had a beginning, and has enormous size and complexity that is best described as a ‘multiverse’. Aguirre will trace the development of these ideas, as well as look forward to prospects for testing or even confirming the idea of an infinite inflationary multiverse.

Professor Matt Dobbs from University of McGill

Mankind has been looking up at the cosmos throughout history, asking big questions such as, “what is our place in the universe, … how did it begin?” Today, astronomers and scientists have been addressing questions such as these through adventurous exploits that are yielding big answers. In this talk we’ll journey to Antarctica where the South Pole Telescope was built to answer questions about the origin, fate, and composition of the universe.

Professor Rafael Lopez-Mobilia from University of Texas at San Antonio

Cosmology is by now considered a precision science. It has achieved impressive advances in both observation and theory over the last few decades, which finally provide us with good answers to the ancient questions about the origin of the universe, its age and composition, its structure and how it developed, and its likely future evolution. Still, lots of mysteries remain, such as the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the cosmic asymmetry between matter and antimatter, and whether the universe is finite or infinite. In this talk we will explore these mysteries and some of the proposed explanations, and also speculate about what the possible consequences might be for our understanding of the cosmos and of the fundamentals laws of physics.

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