Astronomy Cafe – November 30th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of meeting

Meteor Shower Expert is Guest Speaker at the Astro Cafe on Monday December 7th.

The Geminids are usually the strongest meteor shower and this year they peak around the 13th of December which is a new moon. So if skies cooperate, conditions could be ideal for savouring this shower. In anticipation this event we have arranged for Abedin Abedin, a postdoctoral fellow at NRC Herzberg to share his research on meteoroid streams, the swarm of particles left in the wake of comets and near earth asteroids that cause meteor showers.

Title: “The age and parent body of the Quadrantids meteoroid stream

Abstract: The Earth intersects the orbit of Quadrantids meteoroid stream every year around January 3-4, giving raise to the Quadrantid meteor shower.
The Quadrantids are among the strongest meteor showers with Zenithal Hourly Rate ZHR~110-130. The Quadrantids are unique among other meteor showers: It has very short duration of just a few days with even narrower core activity which has a Full Width of Half Maximum (FWHM)~0.6 days – a strong proxy of a very young meteor shower. Secondly, the meteoroid stream has been linked to the Near-Earth Object 2003 EH1, – a body of asteroidal appearance. Meteoroid streams are generally associated with comets and to a lesser degree with asteroids, which raises an interesting question if 2003 EH1 is the nucleus of a dormant or recently extinct comet.
Here, I will present on how we trace a meteoroid stream to a proposed parent body and how we determine the age of Quadrantids, which appears to be as young as 200 years. Furthermore, the Quadrantids have also been linked to comet 96P/Machholz, which gives rise to 7 additional meteor showers. I will also discuss the relationship between the Quadrantids, 2003 EH1 and comet 96P.

Biography: Abedin Abedin writes: I obtained my master’s degree in 2006 from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. I then worked at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for three years. In 2011 I started my PhD degree at the University of Western Ontario, London ON. I worked on determining the age of eight meteoroid streams, associated with comet 96P/Machholz. I completed my degree in September 2016.
Since Aug. 2018, I’ve been a postdoctoral fellow at Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics at NRC, working on collisional probabilities and dust production rates in the trans-Neptunian Region.

Tales of the littlest galaxies that could … at UVic Observatory Open House Wednesday December 2nd

You are invited to a Zoom presentation at the UVic Observatory Open House at 7:30PM on Wednesday December 2nd. Dr. Matt Taylor a post doc at Herzberg Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will discuss the important role that Dwarf Galaxies play. Entitled “Judge Me By My Size, Do You? Tales of the littlest galaxies that could.”​ this sounds like it will be entertaining as well as informative. Join the Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 935 9678 6035
Password: 566494​

Astronomy Cafe – Monday November 23rd 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Transcript video of meeting

Canadian France Hawaii Telescope Virtual Tour at UVic Observatory Open House

At 7:30PM on Wednesday November 25th, Cam Wipper, Remote Observer, at the CFHT will give us a virtual tour of the observatory and the telescope, as well as the start of night time observing operations from their control room. He will then give an overview of how a modern observatory conducts science operations, followed by his personal story from Nanaimo to the CFHT. If time permits, he will also present a brief history of Mauna Kea Astronomy from a geological and human perspective.

Join the Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 935 9678 6035
Password: 566494​


Victoria Centre RASCals

Nanaimo Astronomy Society would like to extend a guest invitation to RASC Victoria members to our regular monthly meeting Thursday November 26 featuring inspiring young astronomy enthusiast, Pranvera Hyseni of Kosovo – ‘Astronomy is for everyone’

NAS Board member Bill Weller (retired astronomer and astronomy Prof) had been following (on Facebook) Pranvera and the Astronomy Outreach of Kosovo group she founded, and we’re grateful she accepted our invitation to present.

I’m grateful too for the wide-ranging and heartfelt tributes RASC Victoria members shared about Diane Bell at last week’s Astrocafe, and this invitation is made for that reason in fellowship with your group.

Best regards,

Janeane MacGillivray, Director-at-Large, Nanaimo Astronomy Society

info@nanaimoastronomy.com

nanaimoastronomy.com

facebook.com/groups/nanaimoastronomy

Pranvera Hyseni

Astronomy Cafe – Monday November 16th 2020

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Video transcript of the meeting

UVic Observatory Open House – Lisa Wells, CFHT Remote Observer, talks about Supernovae

You are invited to a Zoom presentation by Lisa Wells at 7:30 PM on Wednesday November 18th 2020. In addition to talking about her research interest in Supernovae, Lisa will describe how she remotely uses the Canadian France Hawaii Telescope.

The talk will explain the current thinking of the star classes producing these bright events, why a star dies in such a spectacular way, and give insights into their classification and naming scheme. Next you will learn about the first of the major searches and how that led to the Nobel Prize.

Join the Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 935 9678 6035
Password: 566494​

The Research Legacy of the Lowell Observatory: Monday November 23rd at 5:30 PM PST

You are invited to a presentation on The Research Legacy of Lowell Observatory
Presented by Klaus Brasch
Sponsored by RASC History Committee
Abstract:
Percival Lowell founded his observatory in 1894 and commissioned the famed firm of Alvan Clark & Sons, to build a 24-in aperture refracting telescope among the largest in private hands at the time. Clark himself deemed it as one of his best. Both Lowell and his great refractor soon gained notoriety with reports of putative canals on Mars, allegedly the work of a dying civilization to channel water from the planet’s poles to its desert equatorial regions. Amid all the ensuing controversy, the Observatory’s many other scientific achievements are not as widely known as they should. This talk will review some of those and also current research and educational efforts at this historic institution.
Bio:
Klaus Brasch is a retired biomedical scientist and a volunteer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. Born in Germany, his family emigrated to Canada in 1953, where Klaus got hooked on astronomy in his teens, joined the Montreal Center of the RASC in 1958 and has been an avid amateur ever since. He earned his BSc at Concordia and Ph.D. at Carleton University, before joining the biology faculty at Queen’s University in Kingston. In 1990 he joined California State University, where he served as department chair, dean of science and director of campus research. Klaus has translated popular French astronomy books into English, lectured widely on topics ranging from life in the universe to astrophotography and published articles in Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Sky News, JRASC and elsewhere. Asteroid 25226 Brasch, was recently named for him by Lowell Observatory.

Link to register

The Iris Nebula and Dust Clouds of Cepheus by Dan Posey

Dan captured this beautiful wide field image while visiting the Cowichan Valley. This is 1h58m (236x30s) of frames into the Cepheus constellation with the Iris nebula (NGC 7023) at centre frame. The shots were captured through a Sigma 105mm f1.4 at f1.4 on an unguided iOptron Skyguider Pro using a Canon Ra at iso 640. The lights were calibrated with bias and flats, and stacked/processed in Pixinsight.

Your Invited to the FDAO Virtual Star Party 7:30 PM Saturday Nov 21st

SELENOPHILE OR LUNATIC? THIRTY YEARS OF OBSERVING AND LOVING THE MOON

Randy Enkin avidly followed the Apollo missions from when he was 8 years old, and had decided he would grow up to be an astronomer. With life’s turns, he ended up being an Earth Scientist working for the Geological Survey of Canada. But the moon always attracted his attention and he is now more than 30 years into a lunar observation time series. For 6 years, Randy has been posting an artistic image of the moon every day on

https://www.facebook.com/EnkinsDailyMoon and https://www.instagram.com/enkinsdailymoon/.

Randy is often out with his telescope in the middle of the night sketching the moon. He is an enthusiastic member of the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Click here for the Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2503633638?pwd=ZWhQaTd2RmpjOXFnanBsVkhaOGoydz09

Astronomy Cafe – November 9th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Transcript video of the Zoom meeting

Image of Dumbbell Nebula From New VCO Telescope by John McDonald

Messier 27, the Dumbell Nebula is a favorite target for imaging. This one was taken as a test of the Victoria Centre Observatory OGS telescope. Details 12.5″ OGS scope on Paramount ME mount. Canon Ra camera with Optical flattener. Exposure – 81 – 30s exposures at ISO 6400 with 42 darks and 21 bias frames for calibration. Processing in Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop.

Public Lecture on latest discoveries regarding cosmology: 7PM Tuesday Nov. 10th

Jim Hesser recommends this public lecture by Joel Primack, prof. emeritus UC Santa Cruz,:

Description: This lecture will discuss the current understanding and the latest discoveries regarding cosmology – the science of the universe as a whole – and galaxies and planets. There is overwhelming evidence that most of the density of the universe is invisible dark matter and dark energy, with atomic matter making up only about five percent of cosmic density. UCSC cosmologists helped to create the standard modern cosmological theory — but the latest high-precision measurements have revealed potential discrepancies that may require new physics. Galaxies were long thought to start as disks of gas and stars, but observations by Hubble Space Telescope show that most galaxies instead start pickle shaped. More massive galaxies have massive black holes at their centers, and matter falling onto these black holes causes outflows of energy that can strongly affect their host galaxies. Information about planetary systems is growing rapidly with new observations, and our own solar system seems increasingly to be unusual.

Link to register for Primack’s virtual talk Tuesday night (7 PM PST):
https://calendar.ucsc.edu/event/state_of_the_universe_report_with_professor_emeritus_joel_primack#.X6mQxtt7mL8

Astronomy Cafe – November 2nd 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Meeting transcript recording

UVic Observatory Open House: “Messy Stellar Siblings”

You are invited to a Zoom presentation at 7:30PM on Wednesday November 4th by Dr Melissa Graham from the Vera Rubin Observatory. The title is “Messy Stellar Siblings” and the future of Supernovae studies with the Vera Rubin Observatory. Zoom session

Fast Radio Bursts – by Victoria Kaspi

Jim Hesser highly recommends this UVic Physics and Astronomy Colloquia on Fast Radio Bursts: by Dr. Victoria Kaspi, from McGill which takes place at 3:30pm PST on Wednesday November 4

“Fast Radio Bursts”
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are short (few millisecond) bursts of radio waves observed from cosmological distances. Their origin is presently unknown, yet their rate is many hundreds per sky per day, indicating a not-uncommon phenomenon in the Universe. In this talk, I will review the FRB field and present new results on FRBs from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). Zoom session

Electronically Assisted Astronomy – David Lee

As discussed at the meeting tonight let me know (email) if any member has an interest in or any questions about Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA). There’s also some talk about developing a national certificate around the skills involved in this activity, likely revolving around its use in projects. As this evolves I’ll keep members informed. For details about David’s presentation about EAA, view the transcript video at the 0:39:15 mark.

Astronomy Cafe – October 26th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of meeting

  • Maritime Museum development proposal
  • Nominate Alex Schmid for upcoming Victoria Council by-election – email

UVic Astronomy Open House Wednesday October 28th: Deep (Machine) Learning with Neural Networks by Karun Thanjavur (UVic)

You are invited this Zoom Meeting at 7:30 PM PDT this Wednesday by following this link.

Learn about the second industrial revolution as Karun Thanjavur demonstrates the amazing power of artificial intelligence. The future is here today!

Abstract:
Artificial intelligence (AI), specially Deep (Machine) Learning applications are already ubiquitous in everyday use, and have been called the second industrial revolution. Deep Learning algorithms, called Neural Networks, thrive on Big Data, the happy ‘problem’ we now face of enormous amounts of data available in astronomy and in almost all fields of human endeavour. Piggybacked on the impressive recent advances in high performance computing, neural networks are trained on these available large datasets to then perform a variety of human-like tasks, such as realtime decision making, identifying subtle patterns in the data, forecasting, making recommendations based on experience, and so on. In this presentation I aim to provide an overview of this rapidly burgeoning field, explain in simple terms the construction and working of a neural net, and illustrate these principles with a few examples drawn from literature and from my own research.​

How to Talk to a Science Denier:

Jim Hesser attended a recent UVic Physics colloquium by Dr. Lee McIntyre (Boston U.) was on the topic, “How to Talk to a Science Denier: What I learned at the Flat Earth Convention”.

Jim reports that the key take away message was that the best way he’s found to help a science denier is through real conversation that leads to building a relationship of trust between the denier and the scientists; once there is trust, the stage is set for the denier to look at alternate views and evidence the scientist provides. People interested in the science denial challenge might enjoy exploring this presentation.

David Lee’s First Light With Borg 55FL and ASI183MC

David writes: For those who can’t wait for the winter objects and you’re willing to stay up late you can catch objects like the Orion Nebula. This was also first imaging light for the Borg 55FL and the ASI183MC.

  • Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI183MC
  • Imaging Optics: Borg 55FL f/3.6 Astrograph
  • Filtration: Hutech Night Glow IDAS NGS1
  • Tracking Mount: Astrotrac
  • Exposure: 50 light frames of 30 seconds for a total exposure of 25 minutes
  • Processing: Pixinsight Core Version 1.8 and Adobe Photoshop CC 2021

Astronomy Cafe – October 19, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of the online meeting.

Lunar Lander – by Kevin Light & Kia Tully – a kayaker in front of the full Moon, taken from Mt. Douglas

Kevin is a friend of Ken Mallory. Presented by Chris Purse

Astrophotography by the Victoria Camera Club members – John McDonald

  • John introduced VCC members who participated in his astrophoto workshop, which was two sessions of 2 hours each
  • Mainly used camera and tripod for sky scape photos
  • How to find objects using planetarium software
  • Work flow for skyscapes, star trails and time lapse (video)
  • Software
  • Slideshow profiling VCC participants’ astronomical photo results

Harvest Moonrise over Edmonton – Luca Vanzella

20200929-1003 Harvest Moon Timescape

Black Holes and the 2020 Nobel Prizes – Randy Enkin

  • Roger Penrose – Black Hole formation and the general theory of relativity
  • Reinhard Genzel, Andrea Ghez – Supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy

TPO 16″ telescope repair status – Reg Dunkley

  • The Technical Committee recommended that the 16″ TPO not be replaced under warranty by OPT. Victoria Centre will instead get a store credit to purchase other astronomical gear.
  • This recommendation was accepted by Victoria Centre Council.
  • Access to the VCO – we can return to Observatory Hill with our Active Observers under limited group rules.

Mars sequential photos – John McDonald

Three views of Mars Opposition

Astronomy Cafe – Monday October 5th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Meeting video transcript

Latest Mars image on September 30th by John McDonald

Mars almost at opposition. Details 2020 09 30 at Ross Place Victoria BC 8″ Edge SCT on AVX mount. ZWO ASI120MM-S camera with filter wheel and TV Powermate barlow to give focal ration f/25. Captured 2000 frames in each of R,G,B and IR filters and stacked best 59% in Astrostakkert, sharpened in Registax, and enhanced in Photoshop.

Latest Mars image from Edmonton RASCal Abdur Anwar

Andur writes: I was using a C11 EDGE at f30 with an ASI1600MM camera. I took 18 videos of 90s through each filter for this sequence and stacked them in Autostakkert. I then applied wavelets in Registax and de-rotated the images in Winjupos. This is the first time that I have actually gotten some detail in the south pole. (Date Uncertain)

Unquiet Slumbers Aurora from Edmonton RASCal Alister Ling

To savour Alister’s wonderful time lapse crank up the volume and click on the link: https://youtu.be/AE7Jr6Dh4bk

Recommendations from Jim Hesser

Jim writes “This McGill public lecture on gravitational waves was dynamic, quite accessible and right up to date.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqmnq65MjKk

Also Jim alerts us of another presentation in the series Golden Webinars in Astrophysics

Makoto Yoshikawa from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) on
“Challenges of the Asteroid Sample-Return Mission Hayabusa2”

on October 9th, at 20:00 CLT (UTC-3h) Click the following to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6416016640027/WN_gIS63X00S8qWg1no-drEyA

Astronomy Cafe – Monday September 28th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Transcript video of the meeting

Dr. James di Francesco speaks at UVic Open House this Wednesday

Join this Zoom Meeting at 7:30 PM PDT this Wednesday by following the link below.
https://uvic.zoom.us/j/93596786035?pwd=SytMSzRlZERrdjFTM0V4bytNTWtoZz09

Meeting ID: 935 9678 6035
Password: 566494​

From Baby Planets to Black Holes: Lecture by Dr. Schieven

The Vancouver Island Engineering Society invites you to a lecture by Dr. Gerald Schieven on Friday October 2nd at 11:30 AM. The focus of his talk is ALMA and the New Horizon Telescope. Find details at the following link: https://viengsoc.ca/events/from-baby-planets-to-black-holes-alma-and-the-event-horizon-telescope/

The Quantum Physicist as Causal Detective

A Perimeter Institute Public Lecture on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7 at 4 pm PDT

What do data science and the foundations of quantum theory have to do with one another? A great deal, it turns out.

Causal inference is a branch of data science that focuses on a common problem across many disciplines: disentangling correlation and causation in statistical data. Meanwhile, quantum physicists have pondered this problem as part of a continuing effort to make sense of puzzling quantum phenomena.

In the first talk of Perimeter’s 2020/21 Public Lecture Series, Robert Spekkens and Elie Wolfe will explore what is happening at the intersection of these two fields and how thinking like a quantum physicist leads to new ways of separating cause and effect from correlation patterns in statistical data.

Follow this link to learn more: https://insidetheperimeter.ca/quantum-physicist-causal-detective-live-webcast/

Astronomy Cafe – Monday September 21st 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of meeting

  • Overall Winners 2020 – Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition – presented by Barbara Lane
  • Telescope installation at Victoria Centre Observatory – time lapse video and photo gallery – Sep 21, 2020 (for higher quality than the Zoom presentation version)

FDAO Virtual DAO Star Party Saturday September 19th 2020

The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory are hosting a Virtual Star Party on Saturday September 19th at 7:00PM. Robert Conrad and Andrew Krysa from the Vancouver RASC are speaking on Mars.

UVic Observatory Open House program for this Fall begins!

UVic invites you to their Observatory Open House program for this Fall. Zoom sessions will begin next Wednesday, Sept 23 at 7:30pm. They will continue weekly at the same time and day till December. This week the Director of CFHT, Dr. Doug Simons presenting ‘Celebrating 40 years of discovery at CFHT’.

This link to join the Zoom Meeting will work for all of UVic’s Astronomy’s Open Houses going forward.

Meeting ID: 935 9678 6035
Password: 566494

Images from Edmonton RASCals relayed by Dave Robinson

Sharpless 2-171: NGC 7822 and Cederblad 214. By Arnold Rivera on September 14
Arnold writes: These two objects have been on my imaging list for a while for two reasons:
They were the first objects on the Observer’s Handbook Deep-Sky Challenge List I visually observed when I started tackling the list and they are well-placed in our northern skies in the fall. These are ‘large’ (60’X30’) but faint emission nebulae well suited for the type of imaging equipment that I typically use. My image was flipped and rotated to reflect its true orientation in the sky when the image was taken.
Celestron RASA8 & ZWO ASI294 MC Pro (-16 C) Astronomik CLS CCD light pollution filter
50 subs, 11m 45s total integration time (uncropped) Processsed in Deep Sky Stacker and PixInsight
Mars by Abdul Anwar on Sept 14
Abdul Anwar tested out his new C11 on Mars and got impressive results. Abdul writes: After carefully collimating it, I spent a few hours imaging Mars. I took 18 x 2 min videos through each filter (total of 108 minutes of footage) and stacked 84,000 out of 337,000 frames I captured. It took a few evenings to process everything but I am sure it’ll get faster as I learn to optimise the process. The equipment used was as follows:
C11 Edge at f20 (5600mm) EQ6R mount ASI1600MM camera with RGB filters.
Images were captured in 16 bit SER format using Sharpcap. Processing was done in Autostakkert, Registax, Siril, and GIMP.