RASC Vancouver Monthly Meeting December 14th 2023

Join us for our monthly meeting. All of our monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

Location: Simon Fraser University Burnaby Room AQ3159

Time: 8:15pm Late start due to Members only AGM at 7:30pm

Topic: The ORCASat CubeSat satellite mission, and its goals for astronomical photometric calibration

Sign up online at https://www.meetup.com/astronomy-131/events/297469433/

Speaker: Justin Albert

Bio: Dr. Albert (https://particle.phys.uvic.ca/~jalbert/) is a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UVic. He’s the co-PI and science lead for the ORCASat CubeSat satellite mission (which orbited the Earth 2990 times earlier this year).

ORCASat was a very small (20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) “CubeSat” satellite, funded by the Canadian Space Agency, designed and constructed here in BC, launched up to the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 26 last year (2022), and deployed out of the ISS into its own low-Earth orbit a month later on Dec. 29. It then orbited the Earth approximately 15 times per day until July 7 of this year, when it re-entered our upper atmosphere and burned up (as is the ultimate fate of all CubeSats). ORCASat contained two light sources, one red (660 nm) and one in the near-infrared (840 nm). The amount of light emitted by each light source was continuously monitored by precisely-calibrated photodiodes also onboard ORCASat, in order for ORCASat to provide a light source for large (4m and above) ground-based telescopes (e.g. the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, and the Blanco Telescope in Chile), to precisely calibrate the measured magnitudes of stars and supernovae using such telescopes. I’ll discuss what we learned from ORCASat, and how that could be applied to potential future missions of this type (very-low-cost CubeSat satellites), and also to future missions of a similar but different type (very-low-cost, hand-launched small propelled stratospheric balloons).

About our Events:

All RASC lectures and observing events are open to the public, family friendly, and there is no charge for admission. Our organization is run entirely by volunteers who love astronomy and astrophysics. Whether you’re a complete beginner, a seasoned astronomer, or you hope to work for NASA some day, anyone fascinated by space exploration is welcome and will enjoy our events