Video transcript of meeting

Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton is an astronomer in residence at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). She received her PhD from Université Laval and is the principal investigator for the SIGNALS project. This is a large survey program aiming at observing over 50,000 resolved star-forming regions in nearby galaxies.

  • Resident astronomer at CFHT for the last 6 years
    • Started at Mont Megantic with SpIOMM instrument – spectral imager
  • SITELLE – Spectral imager
    • Started building the instrument in 2010
    • Acquires both spectra and an image of each object
    • 2017 – Instrument shipped to Hawai’i
  • Canada-France-Hawaii telescope
    • Some issues with weather (snow, clouds), earthquakes (volcanoes), but lots of clear and stable nights
    • Timelapse of telescope operation
  • Science
    • Big Bang
    • First stars formed
    • New elements
    • First galaxies formed
    • Stellar clusters form into stars
    • Stellar Initial Mass Function – stable through the whole Universe?
    • OB massive stars in H2 regions – Laurie’s study area
  • SITELLE – how it works
    • Michelson Interferometer – emission lines
    • Data cube has both imagery and spectra
  • SIGNALS – Star formation, Ionized Gas, and Nebular Abundances Legacy Survey
    • Large, multinational group of researchers
    • Star Formation Rate & Efficiency
    • Stellar Initial Mass Function
    • 9 fields to cover M33
    • More than 30,000 HII regions currently in the survey
    • Supernova remnants as well
  • U of T – new job at a development lab
    • Building a new generation of SITELLE
    • Imaging spectrograph at much higher resolution
    • The resulting instrument needs a large aperture telescope
  • Q&A
    • A dynamical Model – stellar winds affect dense molecular clouds – clumping and finger structures
    • Each pixel of data has their own interferogram
    • Initial Mass Function – huge amount of data
    • Changing instruments and telescope time at CFHT – ranking of proposals – technical and science
    • Mauna Kea Spectra Explorer – an upgrade to CFHT
      • Bigger aperture instrument
      • Using 20,000 optical fibres are part of the plan
    • Culture of astronomy – accommodating diversity and promote inclusivity
      • Mauna Kea is a sacred site
      • Include local aboriginal teachings in presentations at local astronomy groups
      • Learn some of the language used by first nations when they talk about the night sky
    • Is SITELLE technology used elsewhere?
      • Straight IR is being used in other instruments
      • The “perfect” beam splitter used by SITELLE is unique
      • Software to analyze the SITELLE data is unique
      • Size of the SITELLE detector and data throughput is also unique
    • DAO work being used by CFHT?
      • Spectroscopy innovations and staff
      • Adaptive optics systems
    • How did you get involved in astronomical research?
      • Asked a lot of questions about astronomy as a child
      • Enjoyed physics at the university

Silent Sky  at Langham Court Theatre – performances Jan 25 to Feb 11

  • Story of Henrietta Leavitt and her astronomical research done a century ago
  • Jim Hesser is the scientific advisor
  • Members of RASC urged to enjoy this performance
  • Special presentation by Sara Ellison at the Feb 5th afternoon performance

Observing Notes – Randy Enkin

  • Observers Handbook – Conjunction of Venus & Jupiter – Jan 21/22 – half a degree from Saturn just after sunset. In fact, the conjunction should be visible before sunset.
  • Sat 28th at 8PM – Uranus being occulted by the Moon
  • Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF – observable in the early morning hours – Sky At Night

Makers SIG – meeting online this Thursday – David Lee

RASC Publications for sale – contact Lauri Roche by email

  • 2023 Night Sky Almanac – good for planning your observing
  • Explore the Moon $10
  • Explore the Universe $10
  • 2023 RASC Observers Calendar – 2 left at $15 each

Observatory Hill road update – Lauri Roche

  • Probably another couple of months before the road is open to the public
Astronomy Cafe – Jan 16, 2023
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