Star Talk: Stellar Fossils of the Early Universe

Date: October 30th, 7PM Р9PM
Location: Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories Rm 161

This star talk features Dr. Jeremy J. Webb, an Assistant Professor in U of T’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. An NSERC postdoctoral fellow, Professor Webb is currently conducting research on Dynamical Evolution of Star Clusters, Dark Remnants, Dark Matter Substructure, Stellar Streams, Multiple Populations in Globular Clusters, and N-body Numerical Techniques.

Title: Fossils of the Early Universe
Abstract: Star clusters lie at the cross-roads of star formation, galaxy formation, and galaxy evolution. Stars do not form alone in isolation, but in clustered environments surround by between several tens to several millions of stars. The current star cluster population of a galaxy is made up of newly formed clusters of young stars and old star clusters that formed at the same time as the galaxy itself. These old clusters, often called globular clusters, provide clues as to what a galaxy was like when it first formed and how it has evolved over time. I will discuss what we know about cluster formation and evolution, as well as how we can use clusters as tools to study the galaxy within which they orbit. To help gain an understanding of the present day properties of Galactic clusters, we will also explore what life would be like if our Sun was actually inside a cluster with the help of a virtual reality environment. Not only will the night sky look very different, but the type of science available to astronomers would also change.

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Stargazing + Grad Student Q/A

Date: September 25th, 8PM – 10PM
Location: McLennan Physical Laboratories
14th floor observation room

Calling all stargazers! ASX’s first event of the school year is coming up at the very top of McLennan Physical Laboratories (MP). We will be hosting an observation night with the 8″ and 16″ telescopes on the tower roof. Spend the evening gazing at various celestial objects. Additionally, knowledgeable graduate students will be present to answer any questions you have about the telescopes, the astronomy programs at UofT, and the Universe! This event is open to the public, and is kid-friendly. There will even be free hot chocolate!

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August 2019: Picture of the Month

This picture is an original photograph of the Perseid meteor shower taken by ASX Chief Graphic Designer Hansen Jiang. The photo was created by superimposing separate pictures of two meteors onto each other, which is why two streaks of light can be seen.

The Perseids meteor shower is visible from late July to mid August. It is caused by dust particles ejected from the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years. These particles cross paths with the Earth, and produce short, bright streaks of light as they burn up in the atmosphere.

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May 2019: Picture of the Month

On May 11th, ASX participated in Science Rendezvous, along with many other science departments and organizations at U of T to bring science out of the lab and onto the street. Our booth included a demonstration of the principles of general relativity, using a sretched out piece of fabric, some counters and marbles. The heavier the object on the fabric, the more it influenced the movements of other objects. The principle of inflation was also demonstrated, using balloons decorated with stars. As the balloons were inflated, stars moved farther apart, which is consistent with our observations.

As per tradition, execs donned ceremonial ASX garb, including space suits and cosmic squid hats.

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Graduate Student Panel: Autonomous Space Exploration

Date & Location: 7:00 PM-9:00 PM Mar. 13, Wilson Hall (WI), Room 1016, 40 Willcox St., Toronto, ON M5S 1C6

Want to know more about the state of the art of space exploration technology? Bursting with questions on how rovers and satellites work? Not sure what to ask, but just want to learn more? Then come on down to ASX’s graduate student panel!

This 13th of March, we’re featuring three U of T M.A.Sc candidates, each one with applied experience in space exploration technology. Feel free to come with your own questions, or lend an ear to our guided discussion. As usual, everyone with any amount of background knowledge is welcome!


Katie Gwozdecky is a M.A.Sc candidate at the U of T Institute for Aerospace Studies’s Space Flight Laboratory. As an undergraduate, she was heavily involved with the University of Toronto Aerospace Team, eventually serving as its Director. She graduated with a B.A.Sc from U of T (Mech 1T7 + PEY).

Johnny (Ze) Wang is a M.A.Sc candidate at U of T’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is the current Autonomous Traversal Executive at the U of T Robotics for Space Exploration Team, having formerly served as their Project Lead for Satellite Systems Design. He graduated with a B.A.Sc from U of T (EngSci 1T6 + PEY).

Christopher Lucasius is a M.A.Sc candidate at U of T’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is the current President of the U of T Robotics for Space Exploration Team, and Systems Engineering Team Lead at aUToronto (a self-driving car team). He graduated with a B.A.Sc from U of T (EngSci 1T7 + PEY).

For more information please check out our Facebook event page!

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