News and announcements

Funding Announcement: Canada Contributing to the HL-LHC Accelerator

Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan announced that Canada will contribute $10 million for the cryomodules of the crab cavities of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) in response to a request from CERN, vigorously supported by IPP. Crab cavities are a critical component of the HL-LHC upgrade and are essential to achieve the high luminosity goals of this next generation of the LHC. TRIUMF will manage the production of the components and will make a $2 million in-kind contribution for a total project value of $12 million.

Canada’s Most Powerful Research Supercomputer Simulates Life of a Star

As R&D magazine reports Herwig and his collaborators have used "Canada’s most powerful research supercomputer to simulate life of a star”. To understand a star’s structure, researchers simulate them on a supercomputer using complex hydrodynamics calculations over a long series of time steps. These very detailed simulations of the core convection in a massive star reveal the turbulent flows of the interior and stellar oscillations that can be observed with space telescopes like Kepler or TESS. These simulations provide exquisite detail on how different parts of the stars are mixed, which in turn improves our understanding how the elements form in stars and stellar explosions.

Astronomers use old-time math to measure distance, age of one of the oldest objects in the universe

A new study co-authored by Don Vandenberg is cited in a CBC News article about technologies—old and new—that astronomers are using to measure the distance to one of the oldest globular clusters, a tight mass of hundreds of thousands of stars.

Stars align for UVic graduate student, resulting in a cosmic thrill

The Times Colonist followed up with doctoral student Clare Higgs on her chance encounter at a Chilean observatory this summer. She was at the observatory when two neutron stars collided and merged, the first time the celestial event has been seen and recorded on Earth. Ondrea Clarkson was also interviewed for this article.

Astronomy graduate student participates in unprecedented observation of neutron star collision

A UVic, Astronomy doctoral student visiting an observatory in Chile unexpectedly became a participant in the observation of the first recorded gravitational wave signature caused by a neutron star collision – a discovery that is transformational to our understanding of the universe.

When galaxies collide: In search of supermassive black hole pairs

Dr. Sara Ellison in Physics and Astronomy at University of Victoria has discovered an inspired method of finding the elusive pairing of supermassive black holes that mark merging galaxies, a discovery that may provide clues to the future of Earth’s own galaxy. Read more:

Nobel Prize to Weiss, Barish and Thorne for gravitational waves

The 2017 UVic Astbury Lecturer Barry Barish (Caltech) along with Rainer Weiss and Kip Thorne were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics earlier today, for their contributions to LIGO and the observation of gravitational waves. For details see:

MITACS student’s experience in galactic astronomy

Braulio Antonio, an undergraduate student at National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City participated in the MITACS Globalink program this summer at the University of Victoria. Under the supervision of Dr. Sara Ellison in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, he shares his experience working on the phenomenon of galaxy mergers.

Solar Eclipse Open House

Join us on Monday, August 21 from 9:00-11:30am for a special public open house at the UVic Observatory (5th floor of Bob Wright Centre) to view the solar eclipse. The eclipse will be visible at 90% coverage from Victoria. The eclipse begins at 9:08am, reaches maximum coverage at 10:20 and will end at 11:38. The event is free and no pre-registration is necessary.

Cafe Scientifique

The Café Scientifique series is an informal series of talks given in a relaxed setting such as a café. These talks are designed to engage the public in learning about recent research in science. The talks, which are given by experts in the field, provide an opportunity to stimulate discussion around some of the most exciting topics in modern science. Join us for this exciting series of talks in 2016-17! **Café Scientifique is sponsored jointly by UVic's Office of the Vice President Research and the Faculty of Science and is hosted by the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Department of Physics & Astronomy**