Hello {!firstname},

                     Helen Sawyer Hogg  & the David Dunlap Observatory.....synonomous indeed.

     Noted Canadian astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg,   August 1st 1905 - 28 January 1993) was a woman who pioneered research into
Globular Clusters and variable stars right here in Canada.

     She also made great advances for women in the field of science, when those were but scant and few and far between.

Truly one of Canada's great Scientists.

Helen was married to Frank Hogg, the director of Head of the Astronomy dept. at the University of Toronto and also the
director of the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO), Canada's largest optical telescope (74"), located in Richmond Hill.

    Helen would work long nights, and many in the dead of Winter, continuing her research on Clusters and variable stars.

Sometimes after a long night of observing, Helen would take a nap, in the Administration Building Bathroom.. 

Let me explain: There was a small vestibule/cloak room, before you actually entered the ladies bathroom in the administration
building, and in was a small couch, and a closet next it, contained a pillow and some blankets.

     It was here that Helen Sawyer Hogg, would curl up and catch 40 winks.

I spent many a night at the David Dunlap Observatory several years ago, when Heide Debond was the telescope operator,
and it was Heide that shared this story with me.

    So, one late winter night, I was pretty wiped out and decided to catch 40 winks myself, and decided to test out  "Helen's couch",
with permission of course, just to see what it felt like for this grand old lady who worked so diligently to further astronomical science.

    During the course of this, many strange sounds could be heard, in the hallways, sounds of footsteps, creaking sounds.  It's an old building
after all, built in 1935.

But hey, who believes in g-g-g-ghosts anyway?  

I'm pretty certain that whenever I sat in the library of the DDO, Helen would be looking over my shoulder to see what I was reading.

You may laugh, but it's just a feeling I had, and occassionally glance over my shoulder, just to see if someone was there.

    I'm pretty certain that the spirit of Helen Sawyer Hogg lives on at the David Dunlap Observatory today.... 

Enjoy your Sunday,  {!firstname}

Ray Khan

PS While the DDO is no longer owned by the University of Toronto, it's legacy lives on, and here is a link    to see what's happening
with it today.   http://www.theddo.ca/






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