In radio astronomy, a revolution is underway in the technology that is used to observe the sky. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope saw first light in British Columbia, Canada this month. It represents a revolution in the way telescopes work: CHIME has no moving parts. Instead, it captures signals on thousands of antennas seeing a large area of sky and processes this information into a realtime image using custom digitizer and networking electronics, and a large computer array of graphics processing cards. CHIME will map the sky with an unprecedented rate, providing new insights into how the universe evolved and how it may eventually end. It will monitor the entire overhead sky each night, unlocking the ability to monitor and search for transient events such as fast radio bursts - explosions of radio light that momentarily outshine the rest of the sky.
Join AstroMcGill and the McGill Space Institute for a viewing party for the partial solar eclipse on 21 August 2017 (including a live-stream of the full eclipse. We will provide eclipse glasses and solar telescopes staffed by AstroMcGill volunteers so that participants can safely view the eclipse. Volunteers will also be on hand to explain the science behind the eclipse, answer questions and lead hands-on activities related to the Sun, Moon and Earth.
Every second, millions of these particles pass through our bodies without us knowing. Some of them come from deep space, traveling at incredible speeds and stopping for no one. And while we are surrounded by them, they are so elusive that they are almost impossible to detect...that is unless you have a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice at your disposal! This talk will explore the intriguing properties of astrophysical neutrinos, and explain how the IceCube Observatory in Antartica is trying to figure out where these elusive messengers are coming from.
A public talk by Dr. Holly Sheets. For thousands of years, we have had only the planets in our own solar system to study. The first extrasolar planets found in the 1990s were mostly "hot Jupiters," planets the size of Jupiter but within the orbit of Mercury. The Kepler Space telescope, launched in 2009, was designed to look for Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars. Kepler has shown us that hot Jupiters are, in fact, a very small fraction of the planet population in our neighbourhood of the Milky Way. The mission also revealed that the overall population of planets was even stranger than we supposed. The most common type of planet is something that does not exist in our solar system at all - super-Earths or mini-Neptunes, planets larger than our rocky planets, but smaller than our gas giants. In this talk, Dr. Sheets will discuss how the changing sample of planets has influenced our models of how planets form. She will also highlight individual planets and systems of particular interest.