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 […]
Read More
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 […]
Read More
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 […]
Read More
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 […]
Read More
This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor’s Helmet.
Read More

February 2016: Picture of the Month

March 6, 2016
/ / /


Although space travel is not yet possible, consider visiting the planet Kepler-16b in a binary star system. Kepler-16b is the first discovered circumbinary planet, detected in a wide 229 day orbit around a close pair of cool, low-mass stars some 200 light-years away. It was detected by observing a slight dimming in the light curve from the planet transit. One would think that this world would be similar to a Tatooine-like terrestrial desert world, but it is believed to be a cold, uninhabitable planet…so be warned.

Interested in more travel destinations? Check out Visions of the Future!

Read More

Moving to Mars? A Panel Discussion on the Ethics and Logistics

February 14, 2016
/ / /

Moving to Mars? A Panel Discussion on the Ethics and Logistics, co-presented by ASX and The Star Spot.

Human survival depends on planetary settlement. While Mars is the top candidate for hosting human settlers, significant ethical and logistical controversies surround the prospect of sending humans to the Red Planet. ASX has assembled a team of experts to examine those questions. Is there an ethical way to put humans on Mars? Can we search for Martian life without harming it? Are there any contemporary projects that could feasibly send humans to Mars? If not, when will we be able to launch a Mars mission? And does Canada have a role in the future of space travel and planetary settlement?

We have assembled panelists with a wide range of backgrounds to cover the most pressing questions about Martian settlement, a topic with a serious impact on the survival of our species. We will be announcing each of them shortly, so stay tuned!

Read More

Star Talk: The World Records of the Universe

February 9, 2016
/ / /


“The World Records of the Universe”, presented by Dr. Bryan Gaensler

Abstract: We all love it when a world record is broken. But the records set here on Earth are puny and pathetic compared to those set elsewhere in our vast cosmos. What’s the coldest place in space? What’s the fastest object in the Universe? What’s the biggest object we’ve ever seen in space, and the smallest? How weak and how strong does gravity get? Join astronomer Bryan Gaensler for a tour of the extremes of our amazing Universe.

Read More

STAR MEN at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

February 5, 2016
/ / /


Four of the world’s most distinguished astronomers celebrate 50 years of work and friendship with a road trip through the southwestern United States, discussing and exploring the mysteries of the universe. Recapturing youthful adventures and recounting each other’s influences on the most exciting period in astronomy’s history, they share roots from a time following Russia’s launch of Sputnik, when the U.S. accelerated their space program. The four British astronomers spent a formative year together in California in the early 1960s. Star Men looks at how the work of these men has shaped our understanding of the universe and our humble place in it. Tracing the major discoveries in astronomy in the 20th century through these four men, director Alison Rose also explores friendship and mortality-and the fleetingness of our lives played out under the stars.

Showtimes: February 12 – February 18, 2016
Director Alison Rose and subject Prof. Donald Lynden-Bell will be in attendance for Q&As at all screenings.

Opening Night: Join us for ASX Movie Night, and  CITA at Paupers afterwards for an all-physics and astronomy beer.

Special Family Day Screening: February 15, at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free for those 16 and under.

Read More
  • ASX 2016-2017 Sponsors

DISCLAIMER: The content of this web site is entirely the responsibility of a campus organization which is independent from the University of Toronto. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University. The University of Toronto shall not be liable for any damage resulting from the use or misuse of the contents of this web site.

[This webspace is being hosted by University of Toronto Student Life]