The scientific landscape for Extremely Large Telescopes in light of JWST. Part I. Americas

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to announce that the conference “The scientific landscape for Extremely Large Telescopes in light of JWST. Part I. Americas”, will take place on December 11-15 2023, on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles CA. A description of the scope and rationale for the conference can be found below. Please save the dates. More details will be circulated soon. Registration will open August 10, 2023.


Title of the conference: “The scientific landscape for Extremely Large Telescopes in light of JWST. Part I. Americas”

Date: December 11-15, 2023

Place: University of California Los Angeles

Rationale / motivation: The Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will be the premier ground-based optical-infrared facilities from the 2030s onward. These telescopes will provide diffraction-limited spatial resolution, unrivaled from the ground or space, as well as sensitivity commensurate with their large apertures. The experience of Hubble and Spitzer coupled with ground based 8-10m telescopes demonstrate the power of combining these observatories to carry out unprecedented, complementary, and even unexpected science. In just over one year JWST has enabled breakthroughs in virtually all areas of astrophysics, by virtue of its wavelength coverage, sensitivity, and angular resolution. The upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes will be the ideal complement and successors to JWST. The goal of this series of conferences is to review and highlight recent JWST discoveries and study their implications for the science and science operations of ELTs and planning of their instrumentation and user services. The conferences will cover all areas of astronomy and are open to observers, instrument builders, and theorists. In order to maximize participation and minimize travel time and carbon footprint, the series of conferences will consist of three coordinated events. The first one will be held in Los Angeles. The second and third ones will be held in Europe and Asia.

Main topics: fundamental physics and cosmology, high redshift galaxies, galaxy formation and the intergalactic medium, supermassive black holes, the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, stars, time domain, exoplanets, solar system, instrumentation.

SOC members: Brendan Bowler, Martha Boyer, Jenny Greene, Narae Hwang, Susan Kassin, Raffaella Margutti, Karen Meech, Stanimir Metchev, Eric Peng (co-chair), Daniel Stark, Masaomi Tanaka, Tommaso Treu (co-chair), Katherine Whitaker

LOC members: Tommaso Treu (UCLA, chair), Eric Peng (NOIRLab), Laura Quattropani (UCLA), Sofia Rojas (UCLA), André-Nicolas Chené (NOIRLab)

Invited speakers: to be announced soon

Important dates such as registration deadline, abstract deadline, etc.

Registration Open: August 10
Abstract submission deadline: October 1
Late registration opens: October 2
Talk selection announced: October 10
Late registration closes: November 30

re-submission of the summer solstice 2023 issue of e-CASS to include an article from the CSA

Dear all,

An article was sent to the editor’s email spam folder by accident, and thus was missed. Please check the updated issue of the newsletter for the article from the Canadian Space Agency.

My apologies to Denis Laurin for not including the article in the original newsletter.


Dr. Joanne Rosvick (she/her)
Associate Professor
Department of Physical Sciences (Physics)
Faculty of Science
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops BC
V2C 0C8

CASCA AGM Student Prizes

Dear CASCA members,

For those who were unable to attend last week’s CASCA AGM in Penticton, here are the winners of the student prizes:

Best talks from the Board (in no particular order):

  • Demet Kirmizibayrak (UBC): “Time Lags in Astronomy Through Novel Timing Methodologies”
  • Stefan Pelletier (Université de Montréal): “Probing the Carbon Budget and Formation History of the Ultra-Puffy Exoplanet WASP-127b”

Best poster from the Board:

  • Xiaoyi Ma (winner; University of Toronto): “Vortex-induced rings and gaps in a protoplanetary disk”
  • Alice Curtain (runner up: McGill University): “Science in Space: How to telescope designing and building telescopes in Minecraft to encourage belonging and equitable spaces in STEM”
  • Alan Knee (runner up: UBC): “Gravitational wave detection techniques for hierarchical triples in the LISA band”

Best talks from the Graduate Student Committee (in no particular order):

  • Alice Curtain (McGill University): “Calibrating the CHIME/FRB Outriggers using Pulsars and the VLBA”
  • Veronika Dornan (McMaster): “Investigating the M_GCS – M_h Relation in The Most Massive Galaxies”

Best posters from the Graduate Student Committee (in no particular order):

  • Lauren Foster (McMaster University): “Comparing Star Formation on the Leading versus Trailing Sides of Infalling Group and Cluster Galaxies”
  • Kate Hartman (McMaster University): “omparing Globular Cluster System Properties with Host Galaxy Environment”

Congratulations to the winners – and thanks to all students who attended last week’s CASCA meeting and provided an impressive array of 48 oral and 62 poster presentations.

Best regards

Dr Robert Cockcroft (he/him)
CASCA Secretary
on behalf of the CASCA Board and the Graduate Student Committee

Recording of eclipse info session


Some of us met in the first week of June for an interesting discussion about local initiatives for the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024.

The recording is now available on YouTube (unlisted):

You can also see the Google Slides that I used in the first part of the session.

I think we will have a few other sessions in the next academic year. Instead of writing to everyone through this list, I’m inviting those interested in joining these sessions to fill out this short Google form so that I can contact you directly.

Thanks, and have a nice day!

Julie Bolduc-Duval

CASCA Westar Coördinator

Description of the position

In this part-time position, you, as the CASCA Westar Coordinator, will manage the revamped Westar Exchange program. You will establish and maintain long-term relationships with underserved communities; help to plan and support exchanges between CASCA astronomers and these communities; and work with the Westar subcommittee and other groups across Canada doing similar outreach.

Your responsibilities:

  • Making connections with underserved communities, and maintaining these relationships
  • Learning the important customs, practices, and protocols of these communities
  • Liasing with the CASCA Westar subcommittee and other groups across Canada doing similar outreach work.
  • Working with underserved communities to arrange visits (online or in-person) of CASCA astronomers
  • Helping CASCA astronomers to prepare for their visits, including travel and accommodation, and carrying out or arranging appropriate training (EDI, Indigeneity, cultural sensitivity)
  • Debriefing the astronomers after their visits, to help improve future visits
  • Putting out calls to the Canadian astronomical community to find those interested in becoming Westar visitors
  • Maintaining/updating the Westar Exchange website
  • Time permitting, doing fundraising to sustain the Westar Exchange program

Qualifications and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in physics, astronomy, journalism, communication, education, Indigenous studies or another relevant discipline
  • Experience in working with underserved communities
  • Familiarity with EDI principles
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Patience and ability to work with diverse groups of people
  • Basic familiarity with Office software
  • A computer with Office software and internet access
  • Proficiency in written and spoken French and English
  • Knowledge of website editing, video or graphic software, and social medial management would be an asset
  • Fundraising experience would be an asset
  • Knowledge of astronomy would be an asset
  • We encourage applications from women, visible and ethnic minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity


This position is fully remote.

Hours per week, Salary, and Length of position:

This is initially a three-year position. The annual salary will be $12,000 in the first year, corresponding to 8 hours/week. In the second and third years the salary will be $9000, corresponding to 6 hours/week. This position is renewable subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

Anticipated Start Date:

The anticipated start date for this position is Oct 1, 2023

Application Process and Closing Date:

Please email a CV and cover letter to Westar Chair Terry Bridges (, with the title “CASCA Westar Coordinator Application”. Your cover letter should include an EDI statement, and your experience with outreach and fundraising. Interviews will be conducted online (Zoom, Skype, or telephone) after the closing date.

The closing date for applications is Aug 1, 2023.

Canadian Space Agency: ROSS AO cycle 2 deadline is July 28, 2023

The deadline for the second funding cycle of the Canadian Space Agency’s Research Opportunities in Space Science Announcement of Opportunity (ROSS AO) has been extended by two weeks to July 28th 2023. This extension is to facilitate the voluntary submission of a Notice of Intent (NoI), which was added to the ROSS AO in response to requests from the scientific community.

The objective of this non-mandatory NoI is to verify the eligibility of the applicant and the project before submitting a complete application (see Section 4.1 for details. NoIs will be accepted until June 16th 2023. After this date, NoIs will not be subject to a response. A proponent can submit a complete application form whether or not they submitted an NoI.

Denis Laurin (for the ROSS team)
Canadian Space Agency

2023 Summer NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge

Make Your Own Image of the Phantom Galaxy (M74)!

Join NASA’s Universe of Learning for an exciting opportunity to use real astronomical data and tools to create your own images of the Phantom Galaxy, also known as M74. Use your images to explore the mysterious structures within this galaxy, or just create an image that you think is beautiful. You can capture your own real-time telescope image using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network. You can also work with an archival set of data files taken with multi-wavelength NASA, ESA, and CSA space telescope mission (Webb, Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and XMM-Newton).

The NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge provides learners of all familiarity levels authentic experiences using real astrophysics data, including those from NASA space-based missions. Participants engage in the scientific practices of a scientist through accessible data tools and experiences while they create and share their composite images.

The NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge includes instructions on how to turn the data into beautiful composite images with a simple and free web-based image processing tool used by professional astronomers. The JS9 image processing tool is widely used by the astronomical community to process and analyze the data from the world’s premiere research telescopes. NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge uses a version of this tool, JS9-4L, developed for learners.

The challenge also features a short video by professional astronomers. These subject matter experts provide science content knowledge of the Phantom Galaxy as observed across the electromagnetic spectrum. Submit your creations to the challenges and they may be highlighted as standout entries commented on by scientists.

Join the NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge, here:

You can also learn more about other opportunities to discover the universe for yourselves at NASA’s Universe of Learning:

Nathalie Ouellette
Université de Montréal

Report on the 50th anniversary of the Rothney Observatory

On behalf of the Heritage Committee I would like to bring to your attention a report on the 50th anniversary celebration of the University of Calgary’s Rothney Astrophysical Observatory. The report was prepared by Gene Milone and includes material from Philip Langill and T.A. Clark.

The report can be found at this link:

Dennis Crabtree

Canadian Amateur Astronomy Site

Many of you have probably heard that the RASC has stopped publishing SkyNews Magazine. The former editor-in-chief, Carina Ockedahl, is very enthusiastic about continuing her work on astronomy news in the form of a website that she just launched:

I wanted to highlight this for CASCA members both because it’s a handy resource for Canadian-centred astronomy news, and because there are great opportunities here for CASCA members to write about their research projects for a keen audience of primarily amateur astronomers. Please reach out to Carina directly if you have any questions or are interested in contributing:

Samantha Lawler
University of Regina