October Meeting

The meeting will be on the 17th a week later because of the Thanksgiving Weekend is the 10-12 of October.

To avoid a conflict with a not-to-be-missed astronomy talk in Halifax, MAG is joining with the RASC Halifax Centre as our MAG meeting.

The October meeting of the RASC Halifax Centre will be attendance at a special presentation St Mary’s University on

Saturday October 17th at 7:00 PM, in the McNally Theatre Auditorium – St Mary’s University, Halifax

The presentation by the noted astronomer Dr. Alex Filippenko

The Halifax Centre has been invited to participate by SMU and we will have a table and display set up in the ante room of the McNally to provide information to the public about the Centre and RASC and share our interest in astronomy. We will set up some telescopes for display and will also offer viewing outside the McNally after the presentation. Volunteers to man the table and bring some scopes are requested – please contact Paul Gray <snpgray@gmail.com>. It will be a fun evening!

Dr. Alex Filippenko will be the guest speaker for the inaugural Dan MacLennan Memorial Lecture on Saturday, October 17 at 7:00 pm in Saint Mary’s McNally Theatre Auditorium. One of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, Dr. Filippenko was a member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the Universe, a discovery that earned team leaders the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, and team members the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Winner of UC Berkeley’s most prestigious teaching awards, and voted “Best Professor” on campus a record nine times, Dr. Filippenko has produced five astronomy video courses, co-authored an award-winning astronomy textbook, and appeared in more than 100 television documentaries.

Dr. Filippenko’s lecture Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe is the first in a series of annual astronomy lectures established by the MacLennan family to celebrate lifelong learning and the joy of discovery. After his retirement, Dan MacLennan attended astronomy classes at Saint Mary’s and discovered a new world view through the lens of Saint Mary’s University’s telescope. Using a camera purchased to photograph goldfinches and an old telescope from his target-shooting days, MacLennan captured high-quality images of sun spots and presented his work at the annual gathering of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

“While Dan was a reserved man who shunned the limelight, he quietly showed leadership in many of his life endeavours,” says Oriel MacLennan, Dan MacLennan’s daughter-in-law. “He enormously valued his time at Saint Mary’s and the opportunities presented him. This inaugural lecture, stellar indeed, would have been a source of quiet gratification for him. We are happy to help in advancing this cause.”

To follow the lead of the MacLennan family in fanning the flames of scientific discovery, after the lecture concludes, guests are invited to enjoy refreshments and view the night sky from telescopes set up on the front lawn of the McNally Theatre Auditorium (weather permitting). Students and professors from Saint Mary’s Department of Astronomy and Physics and members of the Royal Astronomical Society (Halifax Chapter) will be available to answer questions.

“We are very excited to host this event and to have Alex Filippenko as a guest on campus,” says Dr. Marcin Sawicki, Department Chair and professor in Saint Mary’s Department of Astronomy and Physics. “We appreciate the generosity of the MacLennan family in making this possible. I can’t think of a better tribute to Dan MacLennan’s passion for learning about the universe than a lecture series that, each year, will see world-leading astronomers giving public talks at Saint Mary’s University.

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