February 2018 Monthly Meeting – “The Dark Universe”

On Feb. 1, 2017, the Hamilton Centre met for its regular monthly astronomy meeting. Attendance was great, with about 40 people present, many from the general public, and everyone was looking forward to the lecture by Dr. Laura Parker on Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Ed Mizzi began the proceedings with a welcome to everyone. He displayed a slide with the agenda on it and briefly introduced the topics for the meeting. He mentioned several club activities and advantages of membership and encouraged people to get involved.

Bob discussing membership

Bob discussing membership

Ed introduced Bob Prociuk, Board member, whose portfolio includes vice president and memberships. Bob discussed the benefits of membership at the Hamilton Centre and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He welcomed all new members. Our total is now 116. That’s two more than in January!!

Then Ed Mizzi discussed outreach and also encouraged members to participate in these fun and enjoyable activities with the public. Ed mentioned 4 events that occurred in January, including visits to Queen Victoria Elementary in Hamilton, Christ the King Secondary in Georgetown, St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary in Oakville and St. Andrew Elementary in Oakville. Hopefully the rest of 2018 will see similar fun events, with more members participating.

Next, Ed mentioned notable events that would occur during the month of February, including a Volunteer Fair in Waterdown on Feb. 3, our Board meeting on Feb. 8 and Astronomy on Tap on Feb. 9.

Roger Hill was then introduced. Roger discussed a new initiative he is


calling Heavy M.E.T.U.L. (Messier Explore the Universe Lunar) where members could join him at the observatory and make attempts at procuring RASC certificates for studying the night sky. The inaugural event will happen on Feb. 22 and all members are welcome to bring their own telescopes or use one of the club’s loaner Dobs.

Roger then mentioned the 50th Anniversary of Orbit and talked about some of its history, from the variety of editors to the different formats used as technology changed. Roger has now digitized all of the editions, a massive undertaking, so that they can continue to be read and cherished into the future.

We also heard from Roger, over the course of several slides, about his story of visiting the Atacama Desert in Chile and his excitement while talking about his trip was almost palpable.

Ed then discussed the March 1 meeting and what will be on the agenda,

Dr. Laura Parker

Dr. Laura Parker

from Show and Tell (images, equipment, etc.) and What’s UP in March, to having a telescope clinic and our first Trivia Contest.

We then took a 10 minute break to give people a chance to stretch and chat with fellow members.

After the break, Bob Prociuk introduced the night’s guest speaker, giving an excellent summary of the work that Dr. Laura Parker has been involved with and a brief introduction to her topic.

Dr. Parker discussing "The Dark Universe"

Dr. Parker discussing “The Dark Universe”

Dr. Parker’s lecture title was “The Dark Universe”, an overview of the techniques used to map the universe on the largest scales, which have enabled us to measure dark energy and dark matter. Her talk was very interesting and informative and she utilized great images and analogies to help us understand the science behind here area of study.

Bob thanked Dr. Parker with a gift of appreciation for the time she spent both preparing and providing her findings.

Ed then adjourned the meeting but not before informing members of three upcoming meetings:

– February Board meeting, at the observatory, Feb. 8, 8 PM. All members are welcome.

Hamilton RASC members at the Feb 2018 meeting

Hamilton RASC members at the Feb 2018 meeting

– March Monthly meeting, at the Legion, Mar. 1, 8 PM. Members and the Public are welcome.

– March Board meeting, at Andy Blanchard’s home, Mar. 8, 8 PM. All members are welcome.

Thanks to all who attended. Thanks to Abigail Hughes for taking photos of the proceedings.

by Ed Mizzi

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