Cassiopeia Newsletter – Vernal Equinox / équinoxe du printemps 2019


In this issue / Dans ce numéro:

President’s Report
ALMA Matters
Astrosat News
BRITE-Constellation Mission Update
CATAC Update on the Thirty Meter Telescope
Long Range Plan 2020 / Plan à long terme 2020
Report from the LRPIC
Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) Update
Dissertation: Multiwavelength, Machine Learning, and Parallax Studies of X-ray Binaries in Three Local Group Galaxies

Editor: Joanne Rosvick

Cassiopeia 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 All submissions must be received at least one week in advance to be published in the next edition. I 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.

LRP2020: Call for white papers

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the call for white papers for the Canadian Astronomy Long Range Plan for 2020-2030 (LRP2020). Due dates are as follows:
* Expressions of interest: UT 2300 on Apr 15th, 2019, via
* White papers: UT 2300 on Sep 30th, 2019 (instructions provided to those who submit EoIs)

LRP2020 will review the Canadian landscape for astronomy and astrophysics, and will produce a list of recommended priorities for the next decade. The resulting plan will serve as a single unified vision for the highest priority projects in astronomy in Canada over the period 2020 to 2030. See for details and terms of reference.

We now solicit white papers to inform the LRP2020 report. A white paper should be a self-contained description of a future opportunity for Canadian astronomy. A white paper will be most effective and useful if it concisely summarises an option that the LRP2020 panel should be considering for prioritisation.

White papers should adhere to the following guidelines:

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: An expression of interest (EoI) must be submitted in advance of a full white paper. An EoI submission requires a title, a contact person, a proposed list of co-authors (optional) and a 2000-character summary, and is submitted entirely via a web form (see below).

SCOPE OF EoIs AND WHITE PAPERS: Topics may include (but are not limited to):
* new facilities, experiments and missions
* proposed upgrades to current facilities, experiments and missions
* science programs, science topics and science themes
* instrument design and development
* laboratory astrophysics
* high-performance computing
* data analysis, data management and data storage
* outreach, education and teaching
* state of the profession
* training, careers, demographics and professional development
* equity, diversity and inclusion

AUTHORSHIP: Each EoI and white paper must have a designated contact person. Anonymous submissions will not be considered and all submitted EoIs and white papers will be made public via the LRP2020 web site. Confidential supplementary material (e.g., budgets, proprietary technical information) can be submitted separately to the LRP2020 panel; the relevance of this material  should be described in the public submission. There are no restrictions on the affiliations of co-authors, and no limit on the number of co-authors. Note that the number of co-authors will not necessarily be taken as an indication of the level of community interest.

FORMAT AND LENGTH: Submissions may be made in English or in French.

White papers must be submitted as PDF files, capped at a length of ten 8.5”x11” pages (including figures, tables, references and appendices), with a minimum of 11-point font and 2-cm margins. Submissions must be in PDF format, and should not exceed a file size of 30 MB. Submissions not meeting these requirements will not be considered.

White papers are not required to contain a specific set of sections or headings. Depending on the content, the following topics may be appropriate to include:
* connection or relevance to Canada
* timeline
* cost
* description of risk
* governance / membership structure
* justification for private submission of supplementary information

* EoIs: UT 2300 on Apr 15th, 2019, via
* White papers: UT 2300 on Sep 30th, 2019 (instructions provided to those who submit EoIs)

PUBLICATION: All submitted EoIs and white papers will be posted as public documents on the LRP2020 web page ( Teams wishing to submit supplementary confidential material will be able to indicate as such through the white paper submission process.

DISCUSSION AND QUESTIONS: We encourage open discussion on the coordination of EoIs and white papers using the LRP Slack workspace (see for links). Participants may use the existing topical channels, or to make new channels as appropriate. Questions about any aspect of the LRP2020 process can be posted on the #general channel on Slack, or sent by email to

Pauline Barmby and Bryan Gaensler
LRP2020 Co-Chairs, on behalf of the LRP2020 Panel

Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School 2019 from TRIUMF and McDonald Institute

Dear Colleagues,

The Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School (GRIDS2019) sponsored by TRIUMF and the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute (McDonald Institute, or MI) will take place at TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada from June 10-21, 2019.

Please pass this information (and the attached poster) on to graduate students who might be interested.

About the School:
GRIDS2019 ( is aimed at graduate students for whom particle and radiation detection plays an important role in their work, and who would like to gain hands-on experience with detectors and associated instrumentation technology. The goal of the school is to provide an introduction to practical aspects of detection principles and operations in nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics as well as in nuclear medicine, such that participants achieve a working knowledge of the origin of data produced by commonly employed detector systems.

GRIDS will offer a diversified program from leading experts, combining plenary lectures with hands-on laboratory experience with typical detector and instrumentation technologies.

Participants will develop a basic understanding of the interactions of particles with matter that are relevant to radiation detection, and of the physical mechanisms for collecting energy deposited by radiation. Operational principles will be covered for commonly employed detectors suitable for measurements of energy, momentum, timing, and particle identification. Low background environments and radio-frequency and electronic techniques will be discussed. Participants will explore design and decision-making in the field of radiation detection with focus on the rationale, limitations, and breadth of detector applications and development.

Participants will also develop laboratory skills to operate commonly used equipment for radiation detection in a safe and effective manner, identify common problems associated with operating particle physics detectors, and work as a team to experiment using a detector assembly.

Confirmed plenary speakers:
Pierre-Andre Amaudruz (TRIUMF)
Aksel Hallin (UofA)
Nigel Hessey (TRIUMF)
Rafeal Lang (Purdue)
Alison Lister (UBC)
Kate Pachal (SFU)
Daniel Santos (Grenoble)
Silvia Scorza (SNOLAB)
Craig Woody (BNL)
Viktor Zacek (UofM)

Laboratory experiments will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Application and Registration Procedure:
The school will be accepting a limited number of participants. Applications along with letters of reference will be accepted via the GRIDS website.

Partial support will be available from MI and other agencies.

The application process is now open through the website Applications, including letters of reference, must be received by Friday, March 29th. Successful applicants will be notified the last week of April, and all applicants will be notified of their status by mid-May.

For further information:
Visit the school website at for more information, including travel and accommodations.

Additional questions can be forwarded to

Organizing Committee:
• Doug Bryman, UBC
• Ken Clark, MI/Queen’s/TRIUMF
• Philippe Di Stefano, Queen’s
• Pietro Giampa, TRIUMF (co-chair)
• Dana Giasson, TRIUMF
• Tony Noble, McDonald Institute (MI)/Queen’s (co-chair)
• Marcello Pavan, TRIUMF (co-chair)
• Marie-Cécile Piro, University of Alberta
• Wolfgang Rau, TRIUMF
• Fabrice Retiere, TRIUMF
• Mark Richardson, MI (co-chair)
• Alan Robinson, University of Montreal
• Aleksey Sher, TRIUMF
• Isabel Trigger, TRIUMF