Are Humans Ready to Land On Mars?

ASX is partnering with the Canadian Nuclear Society to bring you a special event: Are Humans Ready to Land On Mars? On Friday, November 21, at 6:30 pm in the Bahen Center (40 St. George St.) room 1170, Nicholas Sion will describe the dangers of getting to Mars and how we can overcome them. ASX will then provide a telescope observing night. Please book your free tickets using Eventbrite here.

Since the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed on Mars, there has been increasing interest as to whether humans can travel to this neighbouring planet. This presentation will outline the known hazards in outer space missions, and draw attention to the issues of incessant radiation, microgravity effects, shielding inadequacy, and the psychological effects of a long lonely journey. The presentation will also outline the concepts of getting to Mars and the possible countermeasures against the hazards, including the latest research. You can view the full event poster here.


Star Talk: More to the Universe than Meets the Eye

ASX will be holding our monthly Star Talk on November 13 at 8pm. The speaker is James Taylor, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. The talk will be given in McLennan Physical Labs (60 St George Street). The room is number 102 on the first floor. This is a FREE event and open for all ages.

Professor James Taylor is originally from Ottawa. He received an undergraduate degree in Math and Physics and an M.Sc. in Astronomy from the University of Toronto, and then moved to Victoria, B.C. to do his Ph.D. in Astrophysics. Taylor then worked at the University of Oxford and at Caltech, before moving back to Canada in 2006 to take up a position at the University of Waterloo, where he is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. What little spare time he has is spent climbing, building things and cooking, depending on the season.

James Taylor writes, “Thousands of years from now, this age – your lifetime – will be remembered as a great period of scientific discovery. In the past few decades we have learnt some profound and unanticipated things about the nature of our universe, in particular that it contains forms of matter and energy previously unknown on Earth. Dark matter is the source of all structure in the universe, yet it is almost impossible to detect directly. Dark energy is the name given to whatever causes the accelerated expansion of the universe, but its true nature is even more mysterious. In this talk I will describe my recent work using dark matter around galaxy clusters to measure the expansion of the universe and probe dark energy, and also current work trying to detect dark matter structures around tiny dwarf galaxies in our own extragalactic back yard.”