Upcoming Events

RASC meeting: New Frontiers in Astrophysics | Fri 20 Jan PDF Print E-mail

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



Planetarium: "Cosmic Clockwork" 2 shows | Thu 2 Feb PDF Print E-mail


Date:  Thursday, 2nd February 

Time:  two shows: 7:15 pm and 8:45 pm *

Location:  Dunn Bldg., Dalhousie University, 6310 Coburg Rd

Presenter:  Quinn Smith

Title:  "Cosmic Clockwork - what makes the Universe tick?"

The night sky is always changing, hour by hour, month by month and year by year. Come to the Halifax Planetarium and see just what makes the Universe unfold the way it does.

Admission:  $5 (at the door); reductions for families (min age 8 years)
Reservations Required: e-mail  planetarium AT dal DOT ca

* State preferred time, number of adults, and number of children aged 8 to 15. *

* Preference will be given to families with children for the 7:15 pm show. *

The Show is about an hour long. Full details will be sent before the Show.
Please do not be late. No admission after the door closes.

Please note that shows are most suitable for ages 8 and up.

Burke-Gaffney Observatory Public Open Houses - Friday Nights PDF Print E-mail

Join us for a peek through the telescope at Saint Mary's University's Burke-Gaffney Observatory.

Detailed information about our FREE Public Open Houses is here.

The scheduled upcoming dates are:

  • Friday, December 9 at 7pm - SOLD OUT
  • Friday, December 23 - cancelled due to holiday closure
  • Friday, January 13 at 7pm
  • Friday, January 27 at 7pm
  • Friday, February 10 at 7pm

Reserve tickets here (please read carefully the information at the top of that page).

We understand the frustration you may have in trying to get tickets, but we do not have a lot of clear nights in Halifax, can only accommodate about 24 people (and provide a good experience), and we do not have the volunteer or staff resources to schedule events more than twice a month for most of the year and weekly June to September.

Any other information can be obtained by contacting Dave Lane, Observatory Director.
We also offer private tours for organized groups of people. Details are here.