Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26 Recap

Laura Chajet was kind enough to take us through the latest astronomy news. Here are a list of some of the articles we talked about.

CITA celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, a number of talks were recounted. Check out the latest Millenium II simulation here and the Aquarius Project here. Also, check out the Canadian Cluster Comparison Project here.

An overluminous supernovae that possibly tips the scales of the Chandrasekhar limit was observed, see the Physics Today article here.

Could galaxy mergers be the reason for type 1 and type 2 quasars? Obscuration is studied in mergers in this article in science.

Unique supernovae require careful consideration as described in this nature article.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19 Recap

Paul Delaney regaled us with this weeks astronomy news, and was also the recipient of the Sandford Fleming Medal of the Royal Canadian Institute. He was awarded this for his outstanding contribution to the public understanding of science. Here is a list of talking points of this weeks meeting:

Voyager 2 has been diagnosed! click here to see the prognosis.

Cassini continues its studies of Saturn and its satellites. Specifically Enceladus and Titan, see the latest results.

Astronomers think they have solved the missing baryon problem, it's all tied up in hot gas located in between galaxies in the Sculptor wall. Check out the article.

Jupiter surprised us all recently when its southern equatorial band suddenly disappeared. We'll keep a watchful eye in the next couple months.

Japan is launching a Venus orbiter and something that comes right out science fiction!

A in depth analysis of SOHO's data over the last 13 years has shown the sun to be roughly static in size.

The space station is currently getting one of its last upgrades before the shuttles stop running. check out the article here.

Finally, BBC reports a US-based might have found clues as to why there is the lopsided matter-antimatter ratio.

Enjoy the reading. See you all next week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 10 Recap

Thanks everyone for the stimulating conversation. Here is a list of the talking points covered at this past meeting.

In a press release from the Max-Planck Institute, astronomers have spectroscopically confirmed the highest redshift galaxy cluster at z=1.62. Click here for the press release and here for the arXiv manuscript.

The Large Magellanic Cloud has provided astronomers with the first direct observation of a runaway star. Kicked out of its stellar nursery, the star has traveled roughly 120pc. Here is the universe today, which has links to the published article.

A candidate for the 'recoiling blackhole' theory has been discovered using a combination of X-ray and optical observations. Find the article here.

NASA's Voyager 2 (out at 13 billion km from earth) has run into some technical glitches with its science data. Let's stay vigilant.

ESA's Herchel Infrared Space Telescope has begun officially releasing data, find many new press releases here.

See you all at the next meeting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5 Recap

Kicking off the summer term for the astro journal club, we talked about everything from NASA robots to planetary migration theory. Jesse Rogerson hosted, below is a list of talking points.

Challenge your brain with the universe today puzzle, check out the question and the answer here.

NASA intends to launch a 'humanoid robot' to the ISS to help out with the mundane tasks. Dubbed 'R2,' read the press release here.

The Keck Observatory recently observed the light echoes of the supernova remnant of Cassiopeia A, producing a 3 dimensional view of the, now confirmed, lopsided supernova. Read about it here.

ESO has decided the location for the E-ELT. The mountain Cerro Armazones in the Atacama desert will one day house the largest optical telescope on Earth.

Turning planetary formation models on their heads was the Gemini Observatory with its observations of a brown dwarf/planetary-mass binary.

Asteroids between Mars and Jupiter have been shown to have icy surfaces, and potential ice reservoirs below the surface. Read the nature article here.

Finally, observations of exoplanets from WASP show there is planets out there that are in retrograde motion around their parent stars, lending credence to some new planetary migration theories. Read the Science Daily article here.

That's it for this week!