Pauline Plays ‘Name that Galaxy:’ July 22nd, 2013

Show notes for the night of July 22nd, 2013

Hosts: Paul, Pat, Ryan
Title: Pauline plays ‘name that galaxy’

This week in space/astronomy history:
1. Unusual happy birthday: Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian philosopher of communication theory. His work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries.[1][2] (Ref: Wikipedia)  Given the imprtance astronomers and science educator put on ALL forms of communications, especially social media, this seems a worthy recipient of our “shout out”.
2. Apollo 11: July 16 – 24 including neil Armstrong’s first step upon the Moon, July 20, 1969.   July 22 1969, Apollo 11 laves lunar orbit bound for Earth.  Can note that the original F-1 Engine #5 was found on the ocean floor by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.  Also recovered were “thrust chambers, gas generators, injectors, heat exchangers, turbines, fuel manifolds and dozens of other artifacts”
3. Venera 8 landed on Venus July 22 1972.  Used aerobraking and survived surface conditions for 50 minutes, confirming high temperature, pressure and atmospheric composition including cloud altitude.  No camera onboard, 495 kg lander mass.

1. Images of Earth taken by both Cassini and Messenger, July 19 2013 – 898 million km away..  Introduces “perspective” of our home in the Solar System as seen from probes some 1 billion kilometers apart. 20,000 people ‘waved’ as the images were taken, performing the first ever interplanetary photobomb.
2. July 16 spacewalk at the ISS by Cassidy and Parmitano cut short due to water leak in spacesuit.  Second shortest space walk in ISS history.
3. Super Moon tonight! 3rd of the year!
4. Gas cloud being torn apart by the black hole at the centre of our galaxy!
Back of the cloud is still falling in, while front has passed closest approach and is now flying away from the black hole.

Live Interview:
Guest: Pauline Barmby, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario
Bio: Pauline is an Associate Professor at Western, doing research into the development of astro-informatics techniques for multi-wavelength studies of star formation and star clusters in nearby galaxies.  Pauline uses lots of different telescopes for this and has just joined the Gemini telescopes users’ committee (meaning that I have to go to Hawaii in August for a meeting, poor me). Pauline is originally from British Columbia, she did postdoctoral work at Harvard, but Canada was lucky to get her back and she is well established here in Ontario. Pauline also was Ryan’s supervisor during his Master of Science.
Questions we asked:
1. How did you get where you are today? A little bit of a general research and career background.
2. You were a member of the instrument team for the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space telescope.  That must have been a very interesting experience.  What are some of the science goals of this project and what has been achieved?
3. I was drawn to your research entering graduate school because I liked the idea of working on a galaxy like Andromeda, one that is close enough to study in detail.  What kinds of things have we learned from Andromeda that have helped us understand distant galaxies?
4. You had mentioned to me that you were excited about work you’re doing in ‘astroinformatics.’ Could you tell us a little bit about what astroinformatics is and how you’re involved with it?
5. What have you been researching lately and what do you hope to spend your time on in the future?

Major Topics Discussed:
1. Background Quasar gives new view of distant galaxy as it feeds on surrounding gas.
A distant galaxy is being illuminated by an even more distant quasar, giving astronomers a view of the galaxy as it feeds on gas in the surrounding intergalactic medium. Generally galaxies must find a way to replenish their supply of star forming cold gas, otherwise we simply wouldn’t see as many star forming galaxies as we do in the present epoch.  The accepted idea is that gravity from the massive galaxy causes cold gas in the IGM to fall in and rotate with the galaxy.

Where in the Universe?:
ThisWeek’s Image:

Thanks for listening!
-YorkUniverse Team
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