RASC Vancouver Paul Sykes Memorial Lecture – February 9, 2024

Join us on Friday, February 9th at 7:30 pm for our annual Paul Sykes Memorial Lecture! 

FREE Event tickets can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/paul-sykes-lecture-dr-tanya-harrison-geologist-planetary-scientist-tickets-798196756987

Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Mountain Campus: AQ3181Click to locate on SFU Room Finder
Topic: What’s Up on Mars?
Speaker: Dr. Tanya Harrison

Bio: Dr. Tanya Harrison is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Earth and Planetary Institute of Canada (EPIC). She has worked as a scientist and mission operations specialist on multiple NASA missions to Mars, including the Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance rovers, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and is now the Principal Investigator for one of the camera systems on the Canadian Space Agency’s upcoming lunar rover mission. Bridging worlds, as well as sectors in the space ecosystem, Tanya was previously the Director of Strategic Science Initiatives at Planet, and the Director of Research for Arizona State University’s NewSpace Initiative. In addition to her role at EPIC, she is currently a Fellow of the University of British Columbia’s Outer Space Institute. Tanya holds a Ph.D. in Geology with a Specialization in Planetary Science and Exploration from the University of Western Ontario, a Masters in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Wesleyan University, and a B.Sc. in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Washington. Her honours include two NASA Group Achievement Awards, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship for women in aerospace and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious doctoral award. She currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario, where she can usually be found with a camera and NASA stickers in hand. You can find her prolifically posting about all things Mars on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube as @tanyaofmars.

Abstract: Professional Martian Dr. Tanya Harrison will delve into the latest updates from the current suite of missions at the Red Planet, examining both the triumphs and challenges faced in recent exploration. How are the results of those missions feeding into future mission planning—including for humans to set foot on Mars? We will explore the technological advancements, logistical considerations, and strategic planning necessary for such a monumental endeavor, including the potential timelines and milestones.

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

RASC Vancouver Monthly meeting: May 11, 2023

We are thrilled to announce that our May meeting will be a very special event.

Dr. Shawna Pandya, Canadian Space Agency astronaut candidate, will be presenting to us on Thursday, May 11 at 7:30 pm. SFU has kindly offered us the 420 seat Diamond Family Theatre in which to hold the event and we are grateful.

Bio: Dr. Shawna Pandya is a physician, aquanaut, scientist-astronaut candidate with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), skydiver, pilot-in-training, VP Immersive Medicine with Luxsonic Technologies, Medical advisor at Orbital Assembly Corporation and Fellow of the Explorers Club. She is Director of IIAS’ Space Medicine Group, Chief Instructor for IIAS’ Operational Space Medicine course, a host with the World Extreme Medicine’s podcast series, Primary Investigator for the Shad Canada-Blue Origin student microgravity competition, member of the AIAA ASCEND Guiding Coalition, Life Sciences Team Lead for the Association of Spaceflight Professionals, and sessional lecturer for “Technology and the Future of Medicine,” at the University of Alberta.

Topic:  Space Medicine on the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

Presentation Abstract: Microgravity. Radiation. Isolation. Let’s face it – space is trying to kill us. So what does it really take to send people to the LEO, the Moon, Mars and beyond, and more importantly, how do we go from surviving…to thriving? In this engaging and informative talk, Dr. Shawna Pandya talks about the medical and health challenges we face as we send humans to increasingly distant and ambitious locales in space, the technologies that will get us there, and the less-often discussed aspects of human spaceflight – like how not to get voted off the Habitat, the challenges of reproduction in spaceflight, and what we are learning from emerging research on the International Space Station. Dr. Pandya ends by discussing future-looking concepts in space medicine, such as building permanent medical capabilities off-Earth, the science fiction technologies that will need to become reality in order to get us there…and the plan for a MedEvac from Mars (hint: it needs some work).

Registration is required via EventBrite.  Admission is free.  RASC members are encouraged to bring family and friends.  Here is the link to EventBrite:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/monthly-lecture-series-dr-shawna-pandya-scientist-astronaut-candidate-tickets-615383958987

Here is a link to the SFU room finder:  
https://roomfinder.sfu.ca/apps/sfuroomfinder_web/?q=diamond%20theatre

Closest parking will be under the Convocation Mall. SFU parking fees apply.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

RASC Vancouver Paul Sykes Memorial Lecture (In person at SFU and online by zoom)

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

Topic: The archaeology of another world: uncovering our lunar cultural heritage

Speaker: Dr. Alice Gorman

Bio: Dr. Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology and author of the award-winning book Dr. Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future (MIT Press, 2019). Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, and space habitats. In 2022, she co-directed (with Justin Walsh) an archaeological survey on the International Space Station, which was the first archaeological fieldwork ever to take place outside Earth. She is an Associate Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and a heritage consultant with over 25 years’ experience working with Indigenous communities in Australia. Gorman is also a Vice-Chair of the Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities, a member of the Advisory Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia, and Vice-Chair of the Adelaide Section of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. Asteroid 551014 Gorman was named after her in recognition of her work in space archaeology.

Abstract: How would we feel if an industrial machine blew away the first footprints of human beings on another world? If lunar visitors scratched their names into the Apollo 11 landing module and stole the plaque commemorating this achievement on behalf of all humanity?

The Moon is not only the inspiration for mythology, literature, art, and science on Earth. It is the gateway to human exploration in the rest of the Solar System, with resources such as water ice that can be used to fuel rockets to Mars. The major spacefaring nations are proposing to send people back to the Moon, 54 years after the Apollo 11 mission, and this time they plan to stay.

However, the Moon is also the location of significant cultural heritage with over 100 archaeological sites that show how technology and human behaviour adapted to a new planetary environment. Soon, the lunar cultural heritage record will be under threat from human activities for the first time. What’s going to happen to the extraordinary places and objects left on the Moon, since the first human object, the Soviet Luna 2 space probe, crashed in 1959? In this lecture, space archaeologist Alice Gorman takes us on a journey to find out.

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

RASC Vancouver Monthly meeting (Online only): February 9, 2023

Urban Astrophotography – How to overcome extreme light pollution featuring comet C/2022 E3 ZTF

In this talk we will focus on some practical techniques, equipment, and post processing tips to help overcome light pollution when doing astrophotography from Vancouver. We’ll look at lot’s of pretty pictures and feature the recent comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) as a case study.

Speaker:  Rob Lyons – RASC Vancouver Council Member and Imaging Chair, President/Executive Producer for Super Creative

Time:  7:30 pm
Place: Zoom:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81087386674?pwd=T0hYc3I0eG5PQ3d4WG82dk5zT3JRdz09

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 someday, anyone fascinated by space exploration is welcome and will enjoy our events

RASC Vancouver Monthly meeting (hybrid): January 12, 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

Topic: What’s coming in 2023 and Big Events of 2022

Speaker: Matthew Borghese, NASA Solar System Ambassador

Bio: Matthew Borghese is a communications specialist and former journalist who covered space shuttle launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Matthew lives outside of Victoria, British Columbia where he provides STEM outreach and connects students to careers and internships at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Matthew presents to a variety of audiences from kindergartners to university students on both sides of the border.

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 someday, anyone fascinated by space exploration is welcome and will enjoy our events

We have a few 2023 RASC Observer’s Calendars for sale at the meeting. The calendar features astro photos taken by RASC members and includes comprehensive listings of astronomical data. Save on the cost of shipping from RASC National, purchase one at the meeting.

RASC Vancouver Monthly meeting (hybrid): October edition

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

Location: Room AQ 3159

Topic: Planetary Defense, or “How to Avoid Impacts and Influence Orbits”

Speaker: Jennie King

Bio:
Jennie “Starstuff” King is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s astronomy program. While studying astronomy and physics, she discovered her deep love of STEM education and outreach through work with the Dark Skies, Bright Kids organization. As a high school AP Physics and Engineering teacher in Denver, Colorado, she brought her love of space exploration to the classroom. Jennie became a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador in order to encourage others to explore the wonders of the cosmos with their hearts, minds and imaginations. She has hosted livestream watch parties for NASA milestones such as the Perseverance Rover landing, developed school-aged astrophysics curricula, and led interactive astronomy events for all ages. As a new Vancouver area resident, Jennie looks forward to connecting with the astronomy and STEM education communities of BC and beyond.

Abstract:
On September 26, 2022, a quiet binary asteroid system had a very interesting day. Didymos, the larger asteroid of the system, watched as a spacecraft deliberately slammed into its smaller moonlet, Dimorphos. Meanwhile, telescopes on Earth directed their gaze toward this event in order to witness the aftermath of the collision and to collect valuable data. This dramatic encounter, known as the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), was humanity’s first test of the kinetic impactor method for asteroid deflection. Because the Didymos-Dimorphos system poses no danger to Earth, it provided a welcome opportunity to demonstrate technology that could one day save lives in the event of a real threat. This talk will address the following questions:

– What exactly were the goals of this cosmic crash test, and what have we learned from the results?
– Why do organizations like NASA invest time and resources in planetary defense?
– What comes next in humanity’s efforts to protect our home world from impacts?

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

RASC Vancouver Monthly meeting (hybrid): September edition

Join us in-person at SFU for our Monthly Meeting with an on-line backup option available.

Topic: A Changing Night Sky – When the satellites come flying in.

Speaker: Patrick Seitzer, Research Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan Astronomy Department

Bio: Patrick Seitzer is a Research Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan Astronomy Department in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He conducts research in Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and optical studies of orbital debris. Using U-M’s 0.6-meter Curtis-Schmidt telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, he and his collaborators conduct optical surveys to determine the total amount of debris at geosynchronous orbit (GEO) then follow up with spectroscopy with the 6.5-m Magellan telescopes to characterize particular objects. Magellan is also used to do deep pencil-beam surveys for faint orbital debris in the GEO regime. Recently he has concentrated on the challenge of large numbers of new bright satellites and how they will change the appearance of the night sky, and affect astronomical observations. He served on the NASA delegation to the Inter-Agency Debris Coordinating Committee (IADC), and currently is on the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris.

Abstract: Artificial satellites in Earth orbit have been leaving streaks in astronomical images since 1957 and the launch of Sputnik 1. The problem took on a much larger challenge in May, 2019, when SpaceX launched the first Starlinks into low Earth orbit (LEO). These satellites were bright enough that they could be seen in twilight, and from the center of light polluted cities. Astronomers immediately wondered: with the proposed launch of several hundred thousand satellites into LEO in the next decade, was the night sky lost? I’ll review what determines when and how bright a satellite will appear, and the steps SpaceX has taken to make the Star links fainter. In addition, I’ll outline what amateur astronomers can do to measure the brightness of satellites, and when and where to observe so that your observations are least affected by satellites.

SFU’s COVID in-person protocols apply, that being maintaining distance from others and wearing of masks are encouraged.

If you can’t join us in person, join via the zoom link available to our Meetup members when you RSVP. RASC Vancouver Members will be sent the online link in our usual monthly meeting email invitation.

All of our monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

Location: Hybrid In person at Simon Fraser University and via Zoom. Details available in meet up.

Date and Time: September 08, 2022, 7:30PM

RASC Vancouver Monthly meeting (hybrid): July edition

Join us in-person at SFU for our Monthly Meeting with an on-line backup option available.

We are fortunate to have two researchers from Canada’s National Research Council, Hertzberg Institute of Astrophysics for this month’s meeting. Dr. Wesley Fraser and Dr. Madeline Marshal will speak to us on the first images from Webb only two days after data is received. Canada made significant contributions to the telescope instrumentation. Learn about Canada’s contribution and the fascinating research these two will describe. 

SFU’s COVID in-person protocols apply, that being maintaining distance from others and wearing of masks are encouraged.

If you can’t join us in person, join via the zoom link available to our Meetup members when you RSVP. RASC Vancouver Members will be sent the online link in our usual monthly meeting email invitation.

All of our monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

Location: Hybrid In person at Simon Fraser University AQ3159 and via Zoom

Date and Time: July 14, 2022, 7:30PM

Link to SFU Room finder: https://roomfinder.sfu.ca/apps/sfuroomfinder_web/?q=AQ3159

Link to more information on our Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/astronomy-131/events/286493282/

RASC Vancouver Monthly Meeting (Hybrid event): June edition

Join us for our first In-Person monthly meeting in two years at SFU Burnaby!
SFU’s COVID protocols apply, that being maintaining distance from others and wearing of masks are encouraged.
If you can’t join us in person, join via the zoom link available to meetup members when you RSVP.
All of our monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

Location: Hybrid: In person at Simon Fraser University AQ3159 and via Zoom
Link to SFU Room finder: https://roomfinder.sfu.ca/apps/sfuroomfinder_web/?q=AQ3159

Topic: A View of the Universe – The Trottier Observatory and Galaxy Formation

Speaker: Dr. Joanna Woo – Astrophysicist, Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University


Website: https://www.sfu.ca/physics/people/faculty/jwa304.html

Bio: I am an astrophysicist with a focus on galaxy evolution using a variety of cutting-edge observational and theoretical tools. While studying for a B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy from UBC, I established and became the president of the UBC Astronomy Club which is still active to this day. I also held a part time job at the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre. Being the adventurous type, I decided to pursue graduate studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, receiving my Ph.D. in 2014. I then moved to beautiful Switzerland to take up a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Astronomy of ETH Zurich before returning to Canada for postdoctoral position at UVic. Since mid-2019 I have been a lecturer at the Department of Physics at SFU and the director of the Trottier Observatory.

Abstract: From the Trottier Observatory to the galaxies far far away, this talk will cover the multiple facets of astronomy outreach and galaxy evolution research at Simon Fraser University. Since its humble beginnings at the turn of the new millennium, the Trottier Observatory has educated and inspired thousands, from young children in the community to advanced undergraduates and beyond. Aside from outreach, we are actively involved in study of galaxies and their evolution. I will give a brief overview of our work on understanding the processes by which galaxies mysteriously stop forming stars.

Hoping to see everyone in our first in person event of the year.

International Astronomy Day & Science Rendezvous 2022 (Virtual)

RASC Vancouver will be celebrating International Astronomy Day in conjunction (as we do annually) with Simon Fraser University’s Science Rendezvous.

RASC Vancouver will be hosting five astronomy-themed presentations and SFU’s Science Rendezvous event line-up includes student spaceflight experiments that are going up to ISS, astronomy presentations, a magic chemistry show, a special Meet an SFU Scientist talk with an Astro statistician and live streamed, front-row, remote access to SFU’s on-campus telescope.

Registration in advance is required at Eventbrite to receive the Zoom links. Registration is free. The Zoom links will be emailed out to registrants a week prior.

Events for RASC International Astronomy Day can be found at this link:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/international-astronomy-day-with-sfu-and-rasc-vancouver-tickets-307191476977

Events for SFU’s Science Rendezvous can be found at this link:
https://www.sfu.ca/science/community/science-rendezvous-2022.html

Highlights include:

RASC Vancouver:
11:00 am: The One Meter Solar System-all youth welcome!: Suzanna Nagy- RASC Vancouver Secretary and Past-President

12:00 pm: The Life Cycle of a Star: Renuka Pampana- RASC Vancouver Webmaster

1:00 pm: An Introduction to Astrophotography: Rob Lyons, professional filmmaker, photographer and founder of Super Creative

2:00 pm: How Can We Do More LPA: Leigh Cummings–Light Pollution Abatement (LPA) Chair RASC Vancouver

3:00 pm: Stellarium-How to use Stellarium-a free open source planetarium for your computer: Robert Conrad -Vice President and Observing Chair RASC Vancouver