Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
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Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Nicholas Fantin wins the Best Student Poster Presentation at CASCA 2016 Conference!

The winner of the Best Student Poster Presentation at this years CASCA (Canadian Astronomical Society-Société Canadienne D'Astronomie) was Nicholas Fantin (Queen’s University) for his poster “Identifying Halo White Dwarfs with the NGVS Field” (Fantin, Cote, Hanes):

Nicholas Fantin showing his winning Poster for CASCA 2016 (Photo from Facebook of Canada France Hawaii Telescope Corporation)


White dwarfs represent the end of the evolutionary sequence of intermediate mass stars (initial mass less than ~8 solar masses). Most of our knowledge of white dwarfs comes from a local sample owing to their small size and faint optical luminosity. We use colours derived from a combination of deep optical data from the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS) and UV data from a targeted GALEX survey (GUViCS) to select white dwarf candidates. The resulting catalog contains 903 white dwarf candidates with g' magnitudes between 18.5 and 24.0, which is a factor of 4 more than previous work. Model cooling curves to derive photometric distances for a subset of candidates. Proper motions are estimated using positional data from NGVS and SDSS for objects which appear in both catalogs. Using the photometric distances, proper motions, and colours, we show that a sizable population of halo white dwarfs can be studied using the combination of deep optical and UV data. Future studies, including spectroscopic follow-ups and extensions using the future Luau large u-band survey are discussed.

Each winner was awarded a framed certificate and $200. The Board thanks all students who attended last week’s CASCA meeting and provided an impressive array of oral and poster presentations.