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Solar Eclipse Safety Tips & Tricks



  • Date: April 5, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Format: Virtual on Zoom webinar
  • Registration Link

Sarah Rugheimer

Associate Professor, Department of  Physics and Astronomy, Allan I. Carswell Chair for the Public Understanding of Astronomy, York University

Dr. Rugheimer's research exoplanets, biosignatures, and habitability. Her work is theoretical and computational in nature. she is interested in anything related to the field of astrobiology: the study of origin of life on Earth and the pursuit of detecting life on other planets or moons in the Universe. In the last decade they have found several dozen habitable planets orbiting other stars. In the next two decades, first with James Webb Space Telescope and large ground-based observatories and later with follow-up missions like the proposed LUVOIR and LIFE concepts, they will be able to detect the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets in the habitable zone. These questions of our origins and the distribution of life in the Universe are the main driving inspiration for my day-to-day work. Sarah researches techniques to remotely detect life in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. She is particularly interested in the planet-star connection and in how stellar activity will influence the photochemistry and spectral features in terrestrial planet atmospheres. She uses mostly 1D and some 3D models to explore different physical regimes for these new habitable exoplanets with a focus on how that will influence the habitability and biosignatures on those planets.

Bruce Waters

Founder of Killarney Provincial Park Observatory & Former Employee of the McLaughlin Planetarium

Bruce Waters has been teaching astronomy to the public for over 43 years. He has been active in various amateur astronomy organizations and worked at the McLaughlin Planetarium in a variety of roles that involved the education and promotion of astronomy to the public. As part of McLaughlin's outreach programs, Bruce started to teach astronomy in the Provincial Park system and has been teaching astronomy at Ontario Park's first Dark Sky preserve - Killarney Provincial Park - ever since. At the Park, Bruce facilitated the opening of Ontario Park's first public-use observatory which was augmented in 2018 by adding a much larger research grade facility. 
Since then, Bruce has worked closely with York University's Allen I. Carswell Observatory team to create an Astronomer in Residence Program that oversees qualified astronomy educators providing knowledge and guidance to the Park's many thousands of visitors. He continues to be involved in public education through his monthly authorship of the Ontario Parks astronomy blogs.

Robin Metcalfe

Director and Associate Professor, Division of Natural Science, Department of Science, Technology & Society, Faculty of Science, York University

Dr. Metcalfe teaches physics and space-related courses in York's Division of Natural Science including Astronomy, History of Astronomy, Space Flight and Exploration, Introduction to Physics, and Physics for World Leaders. Her course was chosen as one of York’s two “Cool Courses” in MacLean’s 2015 University Rankings.

Elaina Hyde

Director, Allan I Carswell Observatory, Department of Physics & Astronomy, York University

Dr. Hyde's research is "in and above the cloud", combining astrophysics, data science, cloud computing, planetary sciences, optical engineering, telescope operations and telescope observations. Her primary astrophysical research focus is galactic archaeology. She has worked with instrumentation and telescopes around the world, and my experience enables me to provide technical leadership for York University's Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory. Another motivation for her is the promotion of astronomy education and research through public telescope activities and exploration. As a lecturer, trainer, and consultant, she innovates teaching methodologies for interdisciplinary audiences across the sciences as well as for businesses, students and the general public. Also, She a certified Google Cloud Trainer and Google Cloud Engineer, and she has considerable experience as a trainer and consultant in data science in the private sector.