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WHAT’S NEW

A FULL CHRISTMAS

Here at Observatory Hill we're all a little obsessed with outer space, and for good reason. Our whole development is inspired by Richmond Hill's historic David Dunlap Observatory (The DDO,) sure, but let's be real, why wouldn't we be? Space is just cool! It's awe inspiring, it's almost entirely undiscovered, and it helps us build our dreams and aspirations. Not everyone can live at Observatory Hill though, so not everyone will get to experience great leaps of discovery or see what an astronomer sees; however, something really cool is coming that people all over the world can check...

A LOCAL STAR

Anyone who's ever visited the David Dunlap Observatory knows it's an incredibly special place. Not only is it strikingly beautiful, it also carries an aura that's almost surreal; perhaps that's why it was chosen to be a star, -in the figurative sense of course. In 1960 the film "Universe" was released by the National Film Board of Canada, and was met with much praise. It was nominated for an Oscar in the 'best documentary' category the year it was released, and offered some of the most vivid special effects anyone had ever seen....

THE MASTER PLAN FOR THE PARK HAS BEEN APPROVED AND IT IS OUT OF THIS WORLD

A community without nature and green space only adds to urban city sprawl. To truly feel like home, a community needs trees, grasses, and shrubs. That is why we’re so ecstatic that The David Dunlap Observatory Park Master Plan has been fully approved!

HOW A SMALL SHACK EXPANDED OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

Observatory Hill is a master-planned community nestled in one of the greenest parts of Richmond Hill. The world-renowned David Dunlap Observatory, for which the development is named, has been an important instrument of astrological discovery.

Many of us understand the fundamental concept of astronomy. It’s the study of the astronomical bodies and the space that surrounds them. When we think about astronomy, it is observatories, astronomers, and big optical telescopes that come to mind. But did you know there are several methods of studying the universe other than optical astronomy? One such method is known as Radio Astronomy, and the small shack next to the David Dunlap Observatory used this method to make a rather remarkable discovery in the early 1970’s.

The advantage of Radio Astronomy is that it doesn’t rely on what we can see to detect objects in our universe. Instead, it relies on detecting radio waves emitted by cosmic bodies. It was using this method that astronomers, working for U of T in 1971, studied and deciphered a curious phenomenon noticed by specialized sounding rockets that were released a year before. An object approximately 6,070 light-years away, was giving off an incredible amount of radiation.

Considering it looked to be a mere star, scientists were puzzled. It was physically impossible for a star to give off that much radiation. Since they now knew where to look, the astronomers, working out of a tiny wooden shack here on the DDO grounds, discovered that there was, quite likely, a black hole orbiting this star. A curious phenomenon to say the least.

The relationship between the star known as HDE 226868 and black hole Cygnus X-1 is very unique. Cygnus X-1 is just far enough away that the star isn’t losing any surface mass to it. Remarkably, what’s happening is that all of the star’s excess energy (known as stellar wind) is being caught and funnelled directly into this black hole, creating a funnel of ionized energy between the two celestial bodies. Every 400,000 years this star loses the equivalent of 100% of our sun’s mass to Cygnus X-1. Eventually, the star will lose all its mass, and be completely devoured by the black hole, which would in turn gain mass equivalent to that of the consumed star.

This discovery, made from a tiny hut with a peculiar zig-zag antenna on top, lent us new insight into how black holes affect other celestial bodies, and how stars behave under certain conditions. An important addition to science, by any measure.

HOW A SMALL SHACK EXPANDED OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

Observatory Hill is a master-planned community nestled in one of the greenest parts of Richmond Hill. The world-renowned David Dunlap Observatory, for which the development is named, has been an important instrument of astrological discovery.

Many of us understand the fundamental concept of astronomy. It’s the study of the astronomical bodies and the space that surrounds them. When we think about astronomy, it is observatories, astronomers, and big optical telescopes that come to mind. But did you know there are several methods of studying the universe other than optical astronomy? One such method is known as Radio Astronomy, and the small shack next to the David Dunlap Observatory used this method to make a rather remarkable discovery in the early 1970’s.

The advantage of Radio Astronomy is that it doesn’t rely on what we can see to detect objects in our universe. Instead, it relies on detecting radio waves emitted by cosmic bodies. It was using this method that astronomers, working for U of T in 1971, studied and deciphered a curious phenomenon noticed by specialized sounding rockets that were released a year before. An object approximately 6,070 light-years away, was giving off an incredible amount of radiation.

Considering it looked to be a mere star, scientists were puzzled. It was physically impossible for a star to give off that much radiation. Since they now knew where to look, the astronomers, working out of a tiny wooden shack here on the DDO grounds, discovered that there was, quite likely, a black hole orbiting this star. A curious phenomenon to say the least.

The relationship between the star known as HDE 226868 and black hole Cygnus X-1 is very unique. Cygnus X-1 is just far enough away that the star isn’t losing any surface mass to it. Remarkably, what’s happening is that all of the star’s excess energy (known as stellar wind) is being caught and funnelled directly into this black hole, creating a funnel of ionized energy between the two celestial bodies. Every 400,000 years this star loses the equivalent of 100% of our sun’s mass to Cygnus X-1. Eventually, the star will lose all its mass, and be completely devoured by the black hole, which would in turn gain mass equivalent to that of the consumed star.

This discovery, made from a tiny hut with a peculiar zig-zag antenna on top, lent us new insight into how black holes affect other celestial bodies, and how stars behave under certain conditions. An important addition to science, by any measure.

A FULL CHRISTMAS

Here at Observatory Hill we're all a little obsessed with outer space, and for good reason. Our whole development is inspired by Richmond Hill's historic David Dunlap Observatory (The DDO,) sure, but let's be real, why wouldn't we be? Space is just cool! It's awe inspiring, it's almost entirely undiscovered, and it helps us build our dreams and aspirations. Not everyone can live at Observatory Hill though, so not everyone will get to experience great leaps of discovery or see what an astronomer sees; however, something really cool is coming that people all over the world can check...

A LOCAL STAR

Anyone who's ever visited the David Dunlap Observatory knows it's an incredibly special place. Not only is it strikingly beautiful, it also carries an aura that's almost surreal; perhaps that's why it was chosen to be a star, -in the figurative sense of course. In 1960 the film "Universe" was released by the National Film Board of Canada, and was met with much praise. It was nominated for an Oscar in the 'best documentary' category the year it was released, and offered some of the most vivid special effects anyone had ever seen....

THE MASTER PLAN FOR THE PARK HAS BEEN APPROVED AND IT IS OUT OF THIS WORLD

A community without nature and green space only adds to urban city sprawl. To truly feel like home, a community needs trees, grasses, and shrubs. That is why we’re so ecstatic that The David Dunlap Observatory Park Master Plan has been fully approved!

observatory hill

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