Comings and Goings

Dr. Jin-xin Hao (Beijing Astronomical Observatory) arrived in November to work with John Percy for six months. His research interests are in the area of photometric and spectroscopic studies of complex short-period pulsating stars. He has been very active in the MUSICOS multi-site spectroscopic network.

Welcome to John Bulicz who joined the department's research staff last autumn working as a research assistant for Phil Kronberg.

Rosemary Diamond retired after many years of service in the library. A sendoff for Rosemary was held last December. Farewell and enjoy your retirement!

Daphne Downer started working in January, 1998 as Rosemary's replacement. Welcome to the department!

Joining the department as PDF with Howard Yee and Ray Carlberg is Pat Hall.

Ray Carlberg is on leave in Pasadena at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington for six months.


Phil Kronberg has been awarded an International Distinguished Visiting Scientist Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Beginning in January, 1998, he will spend about 4 months at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, in connection with this award. One or two such awards are made each year to a Canadian scholar, over all disciplines, and similar awards are made in other countries. Please join us in congratulating Phil on this notable accomplishment.

Congratulations to Brett Gladman at CITA for his discovery of two new Uranian moons. Here is an abstract of his CITA seminar made on November 3rd:
Observations taken at the Hale 5-meter telescope on Palomar Mountain have found two objects closely following Uranus. The objects are strongly suspected to be two new distant satellites of Uranus. According to preliminary orbits that may be determined from the available observations, the brighter object is moving along a highly eccentric and inclined path that is more than 8 million km from Uranus; the fainter object travels more than 6 million km from the planet. That is, respectively, they lie more than 300 and 200 planetary radii out. Each of the other giant planets in the outer solar system has been known for some time to possess similar moons, called irregular satellites, but these are the first ones in this class to be discovered about Uranus. The diameters of the new satellites are estimated to be 160 km and 80 km, assuming that they reflect about 7% of the sunlight striking them. In this case, the largest of the Uranian objects would be comparable to the largest of the irregular satellites found about each of the other giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune). Prior to these discoveries, Uranus had been thought to have 15 moons, five of them identified by ground-based telescopes (the last in 1948) and ten found by the Voyager spacecraft during its 1986 flight through the system. These known moons travel along nearly circular, equatorial orbits that lie close to the planet, between 2 and 23 planetary radii.

Simon Lilly has been awarded a CIAR Fellowship in the Cosmology and Gravity Program. The Fellowship is for a 4.5 year interval beginning January 1, 1998, and ending June 30, 2002. Please join us in congratulating Simon for achieving this well deserved and distinguished award. The appointment provides Simon with the opportunity to dedicate his time to the pursuit of his research and graduate supervision, with a major reduction in teaching duties. The appointment, with the support of the Dean and the Provost, provides for the Department an immediate opening for a junior tenure-track position in the field of Galaxies and Cosmology, effective July 1, 1998.

There is more good news in the department! John Percy has been named as a Distinguished Educator of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. This is a well deserved honour, and we congratulate John for this recognition of his dedication to the teaching of science. Awards night will be held at OISE/UT, 252 Bloor St. West, Toronto, on Wednesday, February 26, 1998.


30th Anniversary of the Doings

Don Fernie reminds us that the Doings is celebrating an anniversary. Vol 1, No.1 of the Doings appeared on January 31, 1968, almost exactly 30 years ago.

Don also adds that he has a complete set of the DDD and he is starting on a part-time project to produce an index to all of the Doings. A trial version will be produced in WordPerfect and include items of historical interest to the department.

General Interest

Karl Kamper

Dr. Karl Kamper died on Monday, 2 February, 1998, after battling with cancer for several years. The funeral was held in Richmond Hill on Saturday, 7 February and the interment was in Pittsburgh on Monday, 9 February. A eulogy was given by Tom Bolton in Richmond Hill on Friday, 6 February. It is being written and will be published in the next issue of the DOINGS.

Las Campanas News

Bob Garrison

The University of Toronto Southern Observatory was closed on 1 July, 1997, 26 years after first light. A series of budget cuts by NSERC had left the UTSO infrastructure grant with only 40% of the minimum grant needed to keep it in operation. The university continued to supply its portion, but Provincial cuts to the university left no funds for filling the gap. However, an interesting offer from Argentina will enable the telescope to continue as a research instrument on the other side of the Andes.

At the IAU meeting in Japan, Hugo Levato, Director of the Argentine observatory at El Leoncito, and I initiated an agreement whereby Argentina will move the telescope, operate it, maintain it, and reserve 25% of the time for the University of Toronto. In principle, the telescope and dome are on loan. The name "Helen Sawyer Hogg Telescope" will be retained. The agreement was signed in November and ratified by the Argentine Consulate in Toronto.

In late November and early December, Brian Beattie and I spent 3 weeks sorting through 27 years of equipment, supplies and memories. Books were given to the University of Concepci˘n, photographic equipment and supplies were given to amateurs in La Serena, some useful items not needed for operation of the telescope were packed into ten crates and shipped back to Toronto, furniture was given to one of the Chilean workers, and three truckloads of leftovers were discarded.

While we were there, three engineers from Argentina came to make essential measurements and plan the move, which is scheduled to take place in March. The telescope should be functioning again by the end of the year.

The site at El Leoncito in Argentina is a good one, though not as good as Las Campanas in Chile. The are the same numbers of clear nights, though differently distributed, but the seeing is not as good (average of 1.5 arcsec instead of less than 1 arcsec).

The first week of December was a wonderful time to be in Casa Canadiense, with its panoramic view of the western sky. From the deck each night, we could see all five naked-eye planets (seven if we counted Earth and Moon, which is almost as big as Mercury). The crescent Moon waxed its way past Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn on successive nights and the sight was a joy to behold.


Some of you may remember Bob Gauthier (Ph.D. 1984). We had lost contact with him, but reconnected when Jim Thomson told rG that he had seen his name on the web, with an email address. A letter was written; his replies (slightly edited) are reproduced here with his permission.

Bob (rG)!!!!!!

My God, I can't believe you still remembered me! I'm very flattered, of course. I've been away for the last week and just read your e-mail last Friday. This is kind of psychic because in my wanderings on the WWW (the world has changed since I was your student n'est-ce pas??) just before Xmas, I stumbled onto the U of T Astronomy site. I was overjoyed to see the Doings on-line. It was the most recent issue (from October) and as the first page scrolled up I saw the acronym UTSO and then this photo of what looked like at least a 2metre telescope dome. I immediately thought: "He did it!! U of T built a 2meter in Chile!!!". Then,the crushing news of the actuality brought all the memories flooding back and I was lost in a reverie that lasted quite a while....

I must say that my two trips to Chile to use that fabulous telescope are at the very top of the turning point experiences of my life (especially the first one!). I think it is ludicrous that such an excellent facility should be closed.

However, I too have fallen victim to the rather large cuts imposed in the February 1995 budget. The research program I was working in was terminated after many years of effort by a team of ten excellent physicists and astronomers (always the best in anything they do!!!) and tens of millions of dollars investment without so much as a "howdee-doo".

Fortunately this organisation was not stupid enough to let the talent go and we were "re-assigned". The new scene is a definite step down (for researcher types that is), in that we are so closely tied to the whims and "needs" of the Canadian private sector that we can't even turn around without seeing if it fits into a "business plan". What nonsense! However, we all are in the same boat, as most of my university colleagues have experienced similar events.

My career as a remote sensing scientist (specialising in optical radiometry, instrument calibration and radiative transfer) has been enjoyable and fulfilling. It shares many of the attributes of astronomical research, i.e. challenging and necessitating intuition and insight, lots of field work, travel and a close-knit scientific community. However, what it does NOT share is the incredible fascination of subject matter! I do not regret my career choice (there are many other reasons for doing what I did) but when I check out the HST pictures or read about discoveries like Ian Shelton's at UTSO, my brain does tend to go into a MUCH higher gear. Astronomy was, is and always will be the most intellectually stimulating of scientific pursuits for me, but alas.... I still have "sessions" where I sit down with Chandra's Radiative Transfer or Mihalas' classic stellar atmospheres book and do a little "doodling".

As you can see I am capable of ranting and raving like this ad infinitum! I think it would be neat to get together at some point and "shoot the breeze". I expect to be in Toronto sometime in March or April. Are you coming up to Ottawa at any time????

It was sure great to get your e-mail and hope you are well. Give Jim Thomson my regards. I was shocked to see his picture, with that beard....

Greetings again,

The news of Karl's death just two days ago is staggering, to say the least. I did not know he was battling cancer.

Karl was a model for me as a student and he gave me a great deal in terms of friendship and as a mentor. I can't believe this happened to him.....

Take care,
Bob (Gu)

Papers Submitted


September 25 1997 to February 5 1998

Basu, S. The formation of protostellar disks in magnetized cloud cores. 20-Jan-1998. Preprint No. 98-0075

Frayer, D.T.; Seaquist, E.R.; Frail, D.A. OH satellite line masers in the nucleus of NGC 253. 24-Oct-1997. Preprint No. 97-1234

Gladman, B.; et. al. The discovery of two distant Uranian Moons. 2-Feb-1998. Preprint No. 98-0104

Gladman, B. J. Destination : earth martian meteorite delivery. 21-Jan-1998. Preprint No. 98-0081

Johnstone, D.; Hollenbach, D.; Bally, J. Photoevaporation of Disks and Clumps by Nearby Massive Stars : application to disk destruction in the Orion Nebula. 5-Jan-1998. Preprint No. 98-0021

Johnstone, Doug; Bertoldi, F. Ultraviolet radiation and circumstellar environments. 20-Jan-1998. Preprint No. 98-0076

Percy, J.R. Astronomy in the Pan-Canadian science project. 19-Dec-1997. Preprint No. 97-1334

Percy, J.R.; Bakos, A. RV Tauri stars in the AAVSO photoelectric photometry program. 13-Nov-1997. Preprint No. 97-1272

Percy, J.R. Teaching astronomy: a brief review. 29-Sep-1997. Preprint No. 97-1084

Yee, H.K.C.; et al. The CNOC2 field galaxy redshift survey. 31-Oct-1997. Preprint No. 97-1247