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Announcements / Re: David Dunlap Observatory Tour
« Last post by Muhammad.Ahmad on May 29, 2019, 07:18:16 PM »
Unfortunately, our PayPal account still has technical problems.

You may buy tickets at our June 6th meeting. Cash only!

Cost is $10 per person. Limited to 50 people.

Questions? Contact
“Exploring Mars Mineralogy and Geology Using In Situ X-Ray Diffraction”

Dr. Roberta Flemming

Associate Professor
Earth Sciences and Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration
University of Western Ontario

To understand the evolution of Mars, we need to study its minerals. There is a mineralogical record of Mars geological processes, impact history, climate (e.g., the history of water on Mars) and habitability. Several instruments have been flown on space missions to examine the mineralogy of Mars, including orbiters, landers, and rovers. Several rover-based instruments measure chemical information from the rocks (such as the APXS on MER and Curiosity rovers), but chemical composition alone does not provide a complete picture of the history of the rocks. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) is the primary technique to determine the mineralogy of rocks and other natural materials. XRD is currently being used on Mars with the CheMin instrument on NASA’s Curiosity rover, however, the CheMin technique crushes the rock to a powder, which destroys the original information about the relationship between the minerals in the rock. A team from Western, Brock, and Guelph universities, along with Canadian companies PROTO and MDA are developing a concept for a miniaturized in situ XRD (ISXRD) which will be able to analyse minerals directly on the martian surface. As a part of this concept study we are assembling a set of Martian analogue rocks, minerals common on the martian surface, and martian meteorites. We will be comparing XRD results from Flemming’s current micro-XRD lab at Western with results obtained using various rover-candidate miniaturized X-ray components and geometries tested by PROTO Manufacturing in Windsor. This will lay the foundation for an in situ X-ray diffraction instrument to be used in future Mars exploration – or anywhere else a remotely-operated robotic rover might be deployed, including remote regions of Earth for environmental science or resource prospecting.

Dr. Roberta Flemming (Associate Professor, Western Earth Sciences and Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration) is a mineralogist by training. She has been Director of the Powder and Micro X-ray Diffraction Facility at Western since 2002. She is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers, with funding from the Canadian Space Agency, to develop a “Miniaturized In-situ X-Ray Diffractometer for Mineralogical Characterization of Planetary Surfaces (ISXRD)” which will focus on Mars.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 8:00 PM

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 551
79 Hamilton Street North, 2nd floor
Waterdown, Ontario  L0R 2H0
Announcements / Board Meeting at The Observatory
« Last post by Muhammad.Ahmad on May 15, 2019, 11:31:08 PM »
7:00 PM at The Observatory.
« Last post by Muhammad.Ahmad on May 15, 2019, 12:34:18 AM »
Announcements / Observatory Night - May 10th, 2019!
« Last post by SubOrbitalRoger on May 10, 2019, 01:27:46 PM »
Tonight, the Moon will be passing through M44, the Beehive Cluster, and the Clear Sky Chart ( ] ) indicates that it will be clear!

 A lunar occultation is when the Moon passes in front of a star. 
Since the Moon is airless, and the star is essentially a point source, the star will blink out when the Moon’s orbital motion carries it in front of the star.  Which makes another feature of this night a good one: Earthshine will give you a good idea as to when the star will be covered.

]Sometimes, a star will appear to graze the edge of the Moon, and will blink several times as it shines down a lunar valley, or is hidden by some mountain peak.  Those of you who witnessed (or saw the video) the grazing occultation of Aldebaran in March of 2017 will know how spectacular such an event can be.  In this case, though, the brightest graze might be of a star that is only 10th magnitude. 

Occasionally, a star will dim before going out, giving an indication that the star is a very close double.  Aldebaran did this, although not because it is a double star, but because it is actually quite large, and some lunar mountains only covered part of the star. 
If you’re doing something other than lunar observing, let me know when you arrive, and I (or another experienced observer) can help you.  Otherwise, I’ll just wander around being nosy and asking if I can help!
 As always, everyone is welcome, and the gates will open about 7:30pm.
 If you bring your own telescope, park on the north side of the parking lot (to your left as you drive in).

 The corollary is that if you don’t have a telescope, park on the south side unless there aren’t any spots. 

 Turn your headlights off as quickly as you can.

 Dress as if it was 10° C cooler than it’s supposed to be.

 Bring a clipboard, a couple of pencils, and one of those Canadian Tire headlamp flashlights that has a red LED setting.

 Be aware of people and telescopes if you arrive after dark.

 Keep the observatory door closed, and only turn on the lights that you need. 

 There is power available, but bring your own extension cord.  If you do, bring a power bar too, but don’t unplug anything without asking first...some telescopes need to go through an elaborate routine at start-up, or someone may be in the middle of an exposure.

If you use the whiteboard to make, or illustrate, a point, please clean it off when you’re done.

Take away your coffee cups and other garbage...if you carried it to the site, you can carry it home!
See you in the dark at 576 7th Concession West, Flamborough,+Millgrove,+ON+L0R+1V0/@43.3907196,-79.9252747,790m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x882b7cd3ba25abd7:0x8997ac7064e017e4!8m2!3d43.3907196!4d-79.923086
« Last post by Muhammad.Ahmad on May 01, 2019, 12:09:06 PM »
Dear Members,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were just made aware that the Legion cannot accommodate us tomorrow.
Therefore, the May 2nd meeting will be postponed to June 6, 2019. We apologize for the inconvenience.

In the meantime, here are other RASC events to add to your calendar:






Muhammad Basil Ahmad
RPh, HonBSc, BScPhm, CDE
President |
Announcements / Re: CAPS: Introduction to DSLR Astrophotography
« Last post by Mark.Smith on May 01, 2019, 09:28:38 AM »
Hi John,
I have sent a couple e-mails to you.  I wonder if I don't have your correct e-mail? Or maybe they were caught in a junk folder?
Could you e-mail and I will get right back to you.
Announcements / Re: CAPS: Introduction to DSLR Astrophotography
« Last post by John.Kezys on April 30, 2019, 09:46:58 AM »
Hi Muhammad

I have registered and paid for the CAPS this weekend but I have not received further information about the place at Mohawk College and start time on saturday

Announcements / David Dunlap Observatory Tour
« Last post by Muhammad.Ahmad on April 23, 2019, 10:12:36 AM »
David Dunlap Observatory Tour

Friday, June 21, 2019, 9 - 11 pm (gates open 8:30 pm)

123 Hillsview Dr, Richmond Hill, ON  L4C 1T3

"In 1932, Jessie Donalda Dunlap bought the Marsh farmstead for $28,000 and donated it to the University of Toronto as a memorial to her husband who’d amassed a fortune in mining and gold but held a passion for astronomy. The U of T’s downtown observatory could no longer function due to light pollution and the land was perfectly perched on a hill north of the city. By 1935, the dome, housing a 74-inch reflector telescope, administration building with three smaller telescope domes were completed. It was the second largest telescope in the world and a leader in Canadian astronomical research, achieving advances in radio astronomy and the first direct evidence that Cygnus X-1 was a black hole."

History and Future of the David Dunlap Observatory
Building tours including historic science demonstrations
  • Photographic copy of the original Palomar Sky Survey
  • Photographic Spectroscopy
  • Photon-counting Photoelectric Photometry
  • Tom Bolton's discovery plates of Cygnus X-1
Visit to the Great 74-inch Telescope
  • The largest optical telescope in Canada
  • Viewing through it if weather permits
This tour is open to RASC Hamilton members, family and friends.

Cost is $10 per person. Limited to 50 people.
Buy tickets at our June 6th meeting. Cash only!
Questions? Contact

Participants are to arrange their own transportation.
You may discuss carpool options with others in this thread.
Announcements / Re: Heavy METUL #10 - Waxing crescent Moon 45%
« Last post by Gavin.Hill on April 12, 2019, 08:17:30 AM »
Yup, that’s the address, see you tonight!
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