This Week's Sky
The night sky at a glance

Clear skies tonight?
Halifax Clear Sky Chart


The Halifax Centre serves NS

Mi'kmaw Moons

First Nations' lunar timekeeping

How to Choose a Telescope

advice for beginners

One-Minute Astronomer

great starter site for newbies

Astronomy Picture of the Day
usually an astrophoto

Astronomy Sketch of the Day

the artistic side of astronomy


Essential Canadian astronomy magazine and online info

Outsider Diaries

John McPhee's blog


RASC Halifax January Meeting

 New Frontiers in Astrophysics:

supermassive black holes—science education


Kirsten Bonson (SMU PhD Candidate, Astrophysics)


supermassive black hole

Friday, 20 January 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Saint Mary's University,

Atrium Building, Room 101 (Map)

High-energy astrophysics plays a key role in shaping our understanding of the universe as a whole and has developed extensively as a field since the 1950s. As the gap between theory and technology narrows, we’ve confirmed longstanding suspicions as well as uncovered new mysteries. X-ray observations of active supermassive black holes in particular allow us to probe the most extreme environments in nature, exposing general relativistic phenomena like light-bending, time dilation, and more. As a current PhD candidate at Saint Mary’s University, I will give a general overview of my research into these fascinating objects and a peek at what lies ahead. I will also briefly discuss my work in science communication and the wonderful advances we have made as a society in bringing cutting-edge research, like this, to inquiring minds of all ages.
Kirsten Bonson
Originally from New England, Kirsten obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Physics from the University of Vermont where her undergraduate research included developing a working model of an atomic force microscope for undergraduate physics labs. She returned to academia at Saint Mary's University and obtained her Master's of Science in Astrophysics in 2013, successfully defending her thesis titled "A deep, multi-epoch X-ray analysis of the unobscured Seyfert 1 galaxy HE 0436-4717". She has presented her work to professional audiences in Italy and Spain, as well as returned to Japan to assist in detector research for the Hitomi mission. She is currently on track to defend her doctoral thesis this coming summer.

New Explore the Universe Guide for sale.

Treats and social hour following

All Welcome

Upcoming meetings: Friday, 17 February



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