Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dec 2 Recap

This week's host is Prof. Paul Delaney.

1. LHC officially becomes the most powerful accelerator. Both proton beams were powered to 1.18 TeV, the speed of the protons are 0.9997 times the speed of light. Read the story here.,

2. Report from Cassini mission:  the eccentricity of Saturn's orbit around the sun may be responsible for the unusually uneven distribution of lakes over the northern and southern polar regions of Titan. Read more here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nov 25 Recap

This week's host is Sunne Dong. Few things we talked about:

1. Rings of stars found in the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A, results of "a violent event" of merging galaxies. Read the story here.

2. Looking cosmic rays in starburst galaxies, read the papers here and here.

3. A nova, V445, might become a SNa I in the future. Read more here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nov 18 Recap

This week's astronomy journal club was hosted by Prof. Pat Hall. Something we discussed about were:

1. The LCROSS team announced the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts near the moon's south pole. Read more here.

2. On Nov. 6, an asteroid, 2009 VA, came only about 2 Earth radii from impacting the Earth. It is the third-closed known non-impacting asteroid, only noticed by astronomers 15 hours before its closest approach. Read about it here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nov 11 Recap

Today's host was Alireza Rafiee.

1. NASA plans to launch Atlantis on November 16 for an 11-day flight to the International Space Station. Read the mission's details here.

2. Many observations have been planed this week around Rosetta's Earth swing-by. Read more here.

3. An unusual rapid supernova SN 2002bj, originally identified as a Type II supernova 7 years ago, has been rediscovered as a new type of exploding star. The explosion is believed to be caused by helium flows from one white dwarf onto another in a binary star system. Read here.

4. How many universes are there? String theory says 10 to the power of 500, quantum fluctuations produce 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 10 million. But does it really matter in a world ruled by quantum physics, where an observer's brain can only tell 10 to the power of 10 to the power 16 universes apart? Read more here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nov 4 Recap

Today's journal club was hosted by Prof. Michael De Robertis.

1. GRB 090423, redshift about 8.2, is the most distant astronomical object ever detect in the Universe. Read it at Nature News & Views here. Bursted just about 600 Myrs after the big bang, it might shed some light on the cosmic 'dark ages'. Two individual groups studied the mechanisms and progenitors of this burst. Their papers are published in the same issue of Nature at page1254 and page 1258.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oct 28 Recap

Today's host was Jesse Rogerson.

1. Ares I-X, NASA's next generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system has taken its first flight test today successfully. Read NASA's news release here.

2. Which method is more efficient to detect the first galaxies (z:6~12), lensing or blank fields? Based on the simulations they are both needed. Read the journal paper here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oct 21 Recap

Today's host was Laura Chajet.

1. ESO the team built High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) reported an impressive discovery of 32 exoplanets. Read news release here.

2. Herschel and Planck new results. Planck finished its 'first light' survey, watch the movie here to see how Planck mapped the sky.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2008-2009 AJC records

Since we don't have journal club this week, I think I will update the blog with the last year's journal club schedule. If you like to check any abstracts go to here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct 7 Recap

Today's host was Dr. Chris Ryan.

1. Nobel Prize in Physics
Half of the Nobel Prize in Physics is rewarded to Willard Boyle and George Smith for their development of the charge-coupled device (CCD). We all know how important CCD is to astronomy. Read the nature news here.

An interesting article in The Globe and Mail speculated about who would win the Nobel Prize if the Prize is to be rewarded to the discovery of "exoplanets". The article uncovered the melodrama story of two Canadian astronomers, Gordon Walker and Bruce Campbell, who were the pioneers of the world's most successful search technique for exoplanets.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sep30 Recap

Today's host was Prof. Marshall McCall. Few highlights were:

1. LCROSS changed its target crater based on LRO's results. Read nature news here.

2. India space agency announced that they found water molecules on the moon, using NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper carried by Chandrayaan-1. Read NASA mission news here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Amazing pictures shot by Iranian photographer Babak Tafreshi

Reclaiming the night sky: award-winning astrophotography

I saw those pictures on NewScientist magazine, I like the one with full moon rising, and the daily path of stars with the ancient tomb. I also like the one with Orion, and the one with Mars. OK, I like them all.
And more night sky images from his website Dream Views of Night Sky and Nature.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sep23 AJC recap

I try to summary what we did in the journal club, give links if you like to know more or have missed the meeting. Please feel free to post an entry or a comment.

Water on the Moon? 
The lunar scientists believe they found the solid proofs that there is indeed water on the Moon. Evidences came from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched on June 18. Read details here at NatureNews.
On October 9, the Lunnar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will attempt to make a deep impact with one of the polar crater. Will it dig some water ice out? You can fellow it at NASA's official mission webpage of LCROSS.
Another article with the same topic will be published in the latest issue of Science.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Hi everyone,

I think it would be a great idea to keep a blog about the journal club, since we already have a Google calendar. I can upload articles we discussed or going to discuss. I will set this blog as public, but only people in our list can post an entry, others can only leave comments.