Ra Meets Rob: September 9th, 2013

Show notes for September 9th,2013
Hosts: Paul, Jesse, Ryan
Title: Ra Meets Rob
Live Guest: Robert Cockcroft

On this show we invited Dr Rob Cockcroft from McMaster University to join us on air to tell us about (among other things) his current research on ancient Egyptian astronomy. Check out the show notes and podcast below.

This week in space/astronomy history:

1. September 9-15 – Viking 2, Conestoga 1, STS-64 (discovery), STS-115 (atlantis), Vanera 11, GRAIL A&B (Ebb & Flow), International Cometary Explorer, Luna 2, Gemini 11, Luna 16, STS-47 (discovery), STS-48 (endeavour), STS-51 (discovery), enterprise test flight, Venera 12, Zond5.
2. September 9, 1892 – Edward Emerson Barnard discovers Almathea, a moon of Jupiter. Barnard discovered the star ‘Barnard’s Star’ in 1916. Second furthest star and one with high proper motion.
3. September 7, 1914 – James van Allen was born (September 7 1914 – August 9 2006).  Founder of the Van Allen radiation belts from Explorer 1 mission January 31 1958.  A very passionate educator!

Live Guest Interview: Dr. Robert Cockcroft
Biography: Dr. Cockcroft is originally from the United Kingdom, where he studied astrophysics at the University College London. Upon moving to Canada, he took up research in the field of galaxy formation and evolution (focused on M33) at McMaster University, where he completed his PhD under Dr. William Harris. He has since begun a postdoctoral fellowship position in the field of ancient Egyptian Astronomy under Dr. Sarah Symons. Dr. Cockcroft is a 1st-year undergraduate physics lecturer and also manages and presents at McMaster’s McCallion Planetarium, one of the oldest planetariums in the country.
Contact: McCallion Planetarium – homepage, facebook
Discussion Topics:
1. Research as a grad student
2. Egyptian Astronomy
3. McCallion Planetarium/3D theatre/ Other McMaster Astronomy projects

1. LADEE is Launched. NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) launched from Wallops, Va on September 6, 2013 @ 11:27pm EDT. Why a renewed interest in the Moon?  Or is it delayed/revived interest?  (Suggested Reading: NASA mission page, Universe Today article).
2. Curiosity Corner with Ryan Marciniak. Good to shake off the martian Rust – Eclipses seen of Martian moons, and slow progress toward Mt.Sharp since leaving glenelg. 8 Km left to go before reaching the base of the mountain to study deep rock layers and help complete the picture of a warm, wet, martian past.  During the long trek, the rover set new records for distance traveled in a day, at 100.3 m on July 21st, 2013.  During its travels, on August 17th, the rover captured images of the occultation of Mars’ two moons using Mastcam, showing the larger moon phobos passing in front of the smaller moon deimos. This will allow scientists to take more accurate measurements of the orbits of phobos and deimos.  The rover also analysed a sample of soil from Glenelg that it had been carrying for 75 days, with results to be released shortly. The rover will arrive sometime in the next year, but as long as the rover is doing something noteworthy, or even a bit cool.
3. Trojan Asteroid shares orbit of Uranus – http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/science-qf99-trojan-asteroid-uranus-01348.html

Thanks for listening!
-YorkUniverse Team
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