February 2016: Picture of the Month

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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!

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

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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!

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Star Talk: The World Records of the Universe

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“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.

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STAR MEN at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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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.

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January 2016: Picture of the Month

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In this panoramic view, five celestial wanderers can be seen above the horizon along with the Moon. These five planets span over 100 degrees across the sky and are nearly aligned with the plane of the ecliptic. The phenomenon will continue until February 20!

For more information, check out APOD.

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