May Meeting Provides Glimpse at Planetary Formation

May 2017 Monthly Meeting by Ed Mizzi

On May 4 (May the 4th be with you), 2017, the Hamilton Centre met for its regular monthly meeting. Attendance was very good with about 45 people present, especially with the awful weather outside.

Gary Bennett began the proceedings with a welcome to everyone, especially new members and visitors. He named people who had recently joined the club and recognized them if they were in attendance.

Ed Mizzi gave an update about our tree culling project at the observatory and several members showed interest in volunteering to help.

Gary then introduced our guest speaker, Dr. Parshati Patel, who drove from Western University in London, to be with us and share her knowledge. She carries out her research at the Centre of Planetary Science and Exploration and her topic was “The Tale of Disks around Massive Stars”. It was very intriguing and, along with several excellent slides, we were told the story of star formation and how planets follow. Dr. Patel encouraged questions from the audience and it was obvious that she is passionate about her research. I should also mention that she was a volunteer at AstroCATS 2016 and proudly wore her purple volunteer t-shirt to our meeting.

Gary then asked Andy Blanchard and Ed Mizzi to give an update on CAPS and our second annual Canadian Astro-Photography School, taking place on May 6 & 7, at Bishop Reding Secondary School in Milton, ON.

Next up was our very own member, Muhammad Basil Ahmad, who had recently travelled to Arizona. He shared his slides of the Barringer Crater and discussed its history and creation. He said it was definitely worth the visit, along with the Grand Canyon, which is not far away from this impact site.

Gary then briefly discussed his vision of having “mini” clubs set up within our RASC club, where members would gather in small groups, depending on their interests. Examples could be visual astronomers who would meet to view the night sky, astrophotographers who would gather together to image or to discuss imaging and processing, what Gary affectionately called “gear-heads”, people who would work on fixing and/or modifying the club’s telescopes and other equipment, and any other groups that members might be inspired to start. He told those in attendance that not everything had to be started or chaperoned by members of our Board and that all members should think about their own interests and how they would like to come together.
Gary thanked everyone for coming and invited attendees to the local pub, the Royal Coachmen, for refreshments and to continue our discussion in a more informal atmosphere.

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