Dr. Sara Ellison awarded the Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics by the Royal Society of Canada (September 24, 2014)

This is an official CASCA Press Release.

It is with great pleasure that the Canadian Astronomical Society / Société Canadienne d’Astronomie recognizes and applauds Dr. Sara Ellison of the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia for being awarded the prestigious Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics by the Royal Society of Canada.

As Canada’s senior National Academy, the RSC exists to promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both of Canada’s official languages, to mentor young scholars and artists, to recognize academic and artistic excellence, and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations, and Canadians generally on matters of public interest (http://rsc-src.ca/en/about-us/our-purpose/mandate-mission-and-vision).

Dr Ellison received her PhD in astronomy from Cambridge University in 2000,  then moved to the European Southern Observatory in Chile as an ESO fellow.  She joined the University of Victoria in 2003, and was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and full professor this year. Amongst other honours, she was given the Annie Jump Cannon award by the American Astronomical Society in 2004. Her research focuses on understanding galaxy evolution through cosmic time.

Contacts:
Leslie Sage
CASCA Press Officer
+1 (301) 675 8957
cascapressofficer@gmail.com

Dr. Christian Marois elected to the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada (September 17, 2014)

This is an official CASCA Press Release.

It is with great pleasure that the Canadian Astronomical Society / Société Canadienne d’Astronomie recognizes and applauds the election of Dr. Christian Marois of the NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics in Victoria, British Columbia to the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada.

The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership (http://rsc-src.ca/en/college-new-scholars-artists-and-scientists ).

Dr Marois received his PhD in astronomy from the Université de Montréal in  2004, then moved to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California as  a post-doc. He joined the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in 2008. He was awarded CASCA’s Plaskett Medal in 2005 for the best PhD thesis in astronomy in the preceding year, and the CBC named him their scientist of the year in 2008. His research is focused on the direct imaging of exoplanets.

Contacts:
Leslie Sage
CASCA Press Officer
+1 (301) 675 8957
cascapressofficer@gmail.com

Dr. Harvey Richer is Elected to the Royal Society of Canada (Sept. 16, 2014)

This is an official CASCA Press Release.

It is with great pleasure that the Canadian Astronomical Society / Société Canadienne d’Astronomie recognizes and applauds the election of Dr. Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to the Royal Society of Canada.

As Canada’s senior National Academy, the RSC exists to promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both of Canada’s official languages, to mentor young scholars and artists, to recognize academic and artistic excellence, and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations, and Canadians generally on matters of public interest (http://rsc-src.ca/en/about-us/our-purpose/mandate-mission-and-vision).

Harvey received his PhD in astronomy from the University of Rochester in 1970, and moved to UBC the same year. He was the Gemini Scientist for Canada 2000-2003, and has won the Carlyle S. Beals Award from CASCA, the Canada-Fulbright Fellowship in 2005, held the Canada Council Killam Fellowship 2001-2003 and the UBC Killam Fellowship in1991. His current research focuses on the oldest white dwarf stars and what they can tell us about the formation and evolution of stellar systems like globular clusters.

Contacts:
Leslie Sage
CASCA Press Officer
+1 (301) 675 8957

UBC Science Media Contacts
Chris Balma
Communications
UBC Science
balma@science.ubc.ca
604.822.5082
604.202.5047 (c)

Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Coordinator, Communications
silvia.moreno-garcia@science.ubc.ca
604.827.5001

Cassiopeia Newsletter – 2014 Autumnal Equinox

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&#9808 Autumnal Equinox &#9809

Published September 23, 2014

Andromeda, as shown in an engraving from the 17th century Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia star atlas by Johannes Hevelius. Credit: U.S. Naval Observatory and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Andromeda, as shown in an engraving from the 17th century Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia star atlas by Johannes Hevelius. Credit: U.S. Naval Observatory and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

In this issue:

A Few Words from the Editors / Message des rédactrices en chef
Message from the President
ACURA News
Nouvelles du CNRC Herzberg / NRC Herzberg News
JCMT Update
ALMA Update
Herschel-HIFI news
The X-ray View of Galaxies in Compact Groups and the Coma Cluster Infall Region (PhD thesis abstract)
Relevé spectroscopique et étude des propriétés physiques des étoiles naines blanches à moins de 40 pc du Soleil (résumé de thèse doctorale)
Chemical Abundances of Local Group Globular Clusters (PhD thesis abstract)
Madawaska Highlands Observatory Corp.


Editors: Joanne Rosvick & Magdalen Normandeau

E-cass is CASCA’s quarterly Newsletter, published on or near the solstices and equinoxes (March 21, June 21, September 21 and December 21). To submit a contribution please email cassiopeia.editors@gmail.com. All submissions must be received at least one week in advance to be published in the next edition. We accept plain text and Word documents. Note that the formatting of your document will not be preserved. Please include any images as attachments in your email, not embedded in the text. Please include URLs in parentheses next to the word or phrase that you wish to act as link anchors.


Message from the CASCA president

By Chris Wilson, CASCA president

Hi, everyone,

The start of term is upon us, with all the work that entails, and so this will be just a short report to update you on some of the things that have been going on over the last three months. More information on many of these topics is available elsewhere in this newletter or in the society web pages.

First, I would like to welcome Joanne Rosvick and Magdalen Normandeau as our new Cassiopeia editors! I am very grateful to them for taking this on and I look forward to working with them.

The Mid Term Review (MTR) is now underway with the solicitation of White Papers in preparation for the town hall meetings that will occur early in 2015. The panel has already requested a number of reports from CASCA committees and individuals involved in proposed or established facilities and missions. But any member of the community is welcome to submit a white paper. Length will be as in the LRP – 4 pages text maximum. Up to 5 additional figures allowed. Deadline for submissions is 28 November 2014. Please see the MTR part of the CASCA web site for more details.

Lobbying efforts for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) are well underway. A thoughtful article by Ivan Semeniuk on the TMT appeared in the Globe & Mail in late July and generated additional media coverage. A number of CASCA members wrote letters to their MPs and to Minister Ed Holder, under whose department the TMT falls, and many or all of us received replies from the Minister’s office in August. Individual CASCA members have also been busy meeting with their university Presidents and/or Vice-Presidents research to update them on the TMT issue and I can report that the TMT was discussed at the U15 meeting of university presidents in August. Also in August, the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy made a Pre-Budget Submission on the TMT to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. I think it is safe to say that TMT as a project and an issue is now quite well-known both within the government and in the universities. We are continuing to raise the issue of TMT with the government this fall. Ultimately, though, we will only know whether or not we are successful in getting funding for TMT when the 2015 federal budget is announced. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the TMT Ground-Breaking ceremony which will happen on October 7 and is supposed to have a live-stream which we hope to link to the CASCA web site.

The Long Range Plan Implementation Committee is continuing its monitoring of the broad suite of activities underway in our community. The Canadian CCAT construction proposal will meet with an expert CFI panel on September 29. A complication to the Canadian effort was the failure of NSF to provide partial funding for CCAT through its recent MSIP program. However, the CCAT team continues to be hopeful that new partners will join the telescope to allow its construction in a timely manner. There is an update on progress with the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer elsewhere in this issue and so I will not say anything more about that here. The ACURA Advisory Committee on the SKA has a new chair (Bryan Gaensler) and is being expanded to nine members in anticipation of accelerated developments with that project over the next couple of years.

In the wider world, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has started on an ambitious program to reform its Commission structure with a deadline of October 15, 2014. Also, the deadline for proposing for an IAU Symposium for 2016 is now October 31, 2014.

And last but not least, two of our society’s members have been honoured this past month. Harvey Richer from UBC has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Christian Marois from NRC Herzberg has been elected to the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada. Congratulations to both Harvey and Christian on a well-deserved award.