Revealing the Invisible Universe with Radio Telescopes – Dr. Jennifer West, NRC

Posted by as UVic Meetings

Date/Time: Wednesday January 10, 2024 starting at 7:30PM

Location: University of Victoria, Bob Wright Centre, Lecture Theatre A104. Park in Lot 1 (pay parking) and cross Ring Road.

Cylindrical reflector and antenna - CHIME, DRAO Penticton
Cylindrical reflector and antenna – CHIME, DRAO Penticton

Radio astronomy has been around for nearly a hundred years. In that time, we have only managed to see a glimpse of the Universe’s many hidden secrets that can be revealed at radio wavelengths. With recent advances in computing, we have seen an explosion of new radio telescopes, including the upcoming Square Kilometre Array for which Canada has officially announced its intention to become a full member. With these telescopes comes a wealth of new and upcoming data. I will discuss some of the things that we hope to learn, the challenges we still face, and the new technology that comes with it.

Dr. Jennifer West
Dr. Jennifer West

Jennifer West is currently a Covington Fellow at the Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Centre, National Research Council of Canada. She is interested in magnetic fields in supernova remnants and the Milky Way Galaxy, using data from large surveys using cutting edge radio telescopes. Previously she was at the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto and prior to that she completed her PhD at the University of Manitoba.

Astronomy Cafe – May 1, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • The Dual Dipole Radio Telescope – Evan Warburton, Oak Bay High School, Grade 12
    • Io generates a band of electrons around Jupiter
    • Setup dipole antenna on the Lansdowne Middle School field
    • 20MHz ionized radiation – copper wire cut to half the wavelength
    • “Floating” coaxial shield, not grounded
    • SDR Console software – gain, bandwidth, Io A, B and C phase predictions – Software Defined Radio
    • Spectrograph software
    • Detected a radio storm – short, random bursts
    • 10-40 MHz is the observable bandwidth range
    • Observing time: about 1 hour per week
    • NASA’s Radio JOVE Project: Home Page– helpful forum
    • Project planning and execution – discussion
    • Q & A
    • Evan is travelling to the Canada-wide Science Fair in Edmonton May 13, and is attending UVic Physics this Fall with a prestigious Schulich scholarship to his credit.
  • International Astronomy Day – April 29 & 30, 2023 – report by Lauri Roche and David Lee
  • RASC Victoria Centre Council meeting on May 9th – Randy Enkin
    • Members are welcome to attend online
  • Beaveree at Camp Barnard – May 27th (9am-2pm) – Bill Weir
    • Need volunteers for outreach – email Bill
    • Solar and possibly daytime planets
    • Telescopes – both Ha and white light
  • RASC GA 2023 – CONNECT with the cosmos & community – May 5-7 – Lauri Roche
    • Gather Town – social interaction
    • Friday – Dr. Shandin Pete, Salish Sky Lore, 1 hour live from Victoria’s DAO (7-8pm) – contact Lauri to volunteer
    • Saturday – combatting science misinformation, CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen
    • Sunday – Dr. Linda Shore, Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    • Members: $35 admission
    • Zoom call is used for all sessions
  • Astronomy by Night – A new Canadian website for amateur astronomers. – Michael Webb
  • Explore the Universe – Marjie Welchframe
    • Lunar crater sketches
  • Astronomy Cafe – next week’s speaker is Justin Albert – cube-sat ORCASat
  • Beginner’s SIG – tomorrow night – Jill & David