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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This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor’s Helmet.
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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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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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