The 2016 Canadian Space Society (CSS) 15th Annual Summit will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Inn at the Forks from November 14-15th, 2016. The Summit is one of Canada’s leading conferences devoted to space science, policy, research and technology. It brings together space professionals from industry, academia, government, military and enthusiasts from all walks of life. The CSS Summit is the place to learn about the latest trends, technologies and political issues taking place in the space industry.
With technical sessions on everything from astronomy to space applications, life sciences to law and policy, the CSS Summit touches upon every facet affecting Canada’s space capabilities and potential.
The theme for this year’s summit is “At the Centre of it All” since Winnipeg is geographically situated in the centre of Canada and has a thriving aerospace industry. Manitoba is home to Canada’s third largest aerospace industry. Some of these companies include Magellan Aerospace (Official Summit Sponsor), GE Aerospace, and Boeing, just to name a few.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is pleased to confirm the dates for the next Canadian Space Exploration Workshop (CSEW 2016): November 24-25, 2016. The Workshop will take place in downtown Montreal; however, the final venue has still not been confirmed. We are very hopeful that you will be able to attend and request that you save the dates in your calendars.
The theme of the workshop is “Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities for 2025 and Beyond”. CSEW 2016 will provide the opportunity for you, our stakeholder community, to directly engage in the process of renewing the CSA’s space exploration science and space health priorities as described in the final report produced following the 6th Canadian Space Exploration Workshop (CSEW6).
The 7th annual Planetary Science Short Course will run August 29 to September 4 2016. Topics to be covered include origin of the solar system and planet formation; planetary interiors; planetary surfaces; astromaterials, planetary atmospheres; astrobiology, and exoplanets. Details on the course can be found here.
NASA continues to search space for rocky planets orbiting nearby stars with the Kepler Space Telescope. Two such planets found by Kepler orbit the star TRAPPIST-1, a brown-dwarf 40 light-years from Earth, lie just outside the ideal "Goldilocks Zone" where water can exist in liquid for on the planet’s surface. This Goldilocks Zone is much closer to TRAPPIST-1 since brown dwarf are much cooler than main sequence stars, because they have used up most of their fuel. In fact this planetary system is more similar to Jupiter and its moons. These planets have been found to similar sizes and surface temperatures to Earth and Venus. Although, the planets are not in the Goldilocks Zone, there may be places and environments where life could exist. Two planets transited TRAPPIST-1 on May 4, an event which only happens once every two years, and allowed astronomers to use the Hubble Space Telescope to observe to the atmospheres of the planets in search of water vapour by analysing the spectra given off. No details on this observation have been released as of yet.
Image: NASA, artist depiction of the TRAPPIST-1 system, from NASA article (see Read more here).
On Earth we are familiar with the Water Cycle, a process which defines all life here. But what if there was a similar cycle for other liquids - like methane perhaps? We may be a step closer to finding out. ESA has confirmed that the Cassini has found oceans and lakes of pure methane on its surface. Scientists had previously thought that sunlight would break down the methane, making for bodies of a mix of hydrocarbons, but this does not seem to be the case. Radar scans have mapped the northern hemisphere, which is dotted with these bodies of methane and seems to suggests at a complexe liquid system with methane wetlands, methane sludge ocean beds, a Methane Cycle, and even a climate influenced by this cycle on Titan. The Methane Cycle in particular allows for organic compounds to disolve. All these could result in an environment that is able to create life, but like as we cannot image; based on and composed of methane rather than water. One thing is for sure, there is a lot more going on on Titan than its simple appearance would have you believe.