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Presented by Sara Webb and Grace Lawrence on Friday 28 February 2020. When we look to the stars, what we see is a fraction of the universe – only around 5%. Astronomers observe that a mysterious ‘dark universe’ of strange and enigmatic dark energy and dark matter makes up the remaining 95%. Swinburne PhD candidates Sara Webb and Grace Lawrence are …
 
Presented by Dr Edward (Ned) Taylor on Friday 18 October 2019. At its most basic, astronomy is an attempt to understand the nature of the universe in which we find ourselves. As such, understandings of astronomy have always had a profound impact on how we conceive of and understand ourselves — as a society, if not as individuals. In this talk, I wa…
 
Presented by Renee Spiewak on Friday 20 September 2019. Like humans, stars often live their long lives in pairs, called binaries. At the end of their lives, they experience drastic transformations, rather than simply ending, and these transformations greatly affect their companions. In this lecture, I will take you on a journey of the many lives (a…
 
Presented by Poojan Agrawal on the 21st June 2019. Beyond the twinkling dots in the night sky, there are all sorts of stars that are beautiful and fascinating their own sense. I will share the story of how we came to understand these stars as we know them today using the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and the importance of the lives of these stars in …
 
Presented by Prof. Andreas Burkert on 29th March 2019. The Galactic Center is one of the most fascinating and extreme places in the Milky Way. Harboring a supermassive black hole with a mass of order four million solar masses, it experiences cycles of activity and star formation, separated by periods of quiescence that last of order a million years…
 
Presented by Dr Daniel C Price on 22nd February 2019. Thanks to new, more powerful technology, astronomers can search the skies faster and with more resolution than ever before. In this public lecture, I will talk about two exciting fields in astronomy: the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and Fast Radio Bursts. The SETI field has b…
 
Presented by Assoc. Prof. Tara Murphy on 23 November 2018. On August 17th 2017 the LIGO-Virgo interferometer detected gravitational waves from a neutron star merger in a galaxy 130 million light years away. This was a breakthrough for physics and astronomy. What followed was a frenzy of activity as astronomers around the world worked to detect elec…
 
Presented by Dr Duane Hamacher and Krystal De Napoli on 1st June 2018. The subject of Indigenous astronomy has skyrocketed in recent years all around the globe. A constant stream of emerging research is changing what we think we know about Aboriginal knowledge systems in Australia and the number of Aboriginal students studying astrophysics is rapid…
 
Presented on 19 October 2018 by Dr Michelle Cluver. The more we learn about the universe, the mosre it tends to surprise us. This is one of the most exciting aspects of science - making unexpected discoveries! In this talk I will present some recent scientific discoveries I have been involved with and discuss why these and other discoveries have us…
 
Presented by Assoc. Prof. Jeff Cooke on 11 May 2018. When you look up a the night sky, it appears static and unchanging. However, a closer look using telescopes finds it to be wildly violent. Objects explode, erupt and burst on all time scales, from millions of years to months to milliseconds. Many of these events have been studies in great detail …
 
Presented by Prof. Mike Hudson on 16th March 2018. Most of the matter in the Universe is dark matter: an elusive particle that is completely invisible. But we can “see” this matter by studying how it distorts the light from galaxies in the distant Universe, a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. I will give a whirlwind tour of gravitational len…
 
Presented by Dr Emily Petroff on 9 February 2018. Most things in the universe happen over millions or even billions of years but some things change on the timescales of human life and can be seen to change in a matter of months, days, or even seconds. These sources are called transients and are some of the most extreme events in the Universe, thing…
 
Presented by Dr Thomas E. Collett on Tuesday 14 November 2017. Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that light rays are bent when they travel past a massive object. In this talk, we will explore tests of this prediction and view some of the spectacular consequences of light bending: gravitational lenses. These gravitational lenses let u…
 
Presented by Dr Tiantian Yuan on Friday 29 September 2017. One of the most prominent features of galaxies today is the manifestation of elegant spiral arms. We live in a beautiful grand-design spiral galaxy called the Milky Way. Our Solar System, including the Earth and the only life that we know, lies within the Orion spiral arm of our Milky Way g…
 
Presented by Igor Andreoni on Friday 20 October 2017. The ancients considered the Universe unchanging, and had a special name for the planets, which they regarded as “wanderers”. Any changes in the night sky were seen as portents of doom – and a reason to fear the Gods. The advent of modern astronomy means that we no longer fear changes in the nigh…
 
Presented by Prof. Patricia Vickers-Rich on Friday 7 July 2017. We have been plotting the history of life around the world and climate over more than 1 billion years. Tonight we will zero in on a time when the Earth's first animals came into the picture - at a time when the planet was in the grips of a massive glaciation, Snowball Earth - which is …
 
Presented by Dr Rebecca Allen on Friday 12 May 2017. Galaxies are the largest structures of matter in our Universe. Our own Milky Way has been studied in glorious detail. We know it has billions of stars, around most of which planets are likely to be found. There is a super massive black hole at its center where anything that gets too close will be…
 
Presented by Dr. Themiya Nanayakkara on 21st April 2017. Over the last century, our understanding of the Universe has grown by leaps and bounds whilst posing new questions and testing our very fundamental knowledge and understanding of things around us. To answer these profound questions, scientists are planning ever more ambitious projects driven …
 
Presented by Assoc. Prof. Emma Ryan-Weber on 10 February 2017. The whole Universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started. Wait... is the Bang Bang true and how do we know? In this talk Associate Professor Emma Ryan-Weber from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing will describe the observational evidenc…
 
Presented by Dr. Tyler Bourke on 24th March 2017. Australia is part of an international effort to build the World's largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). In fact, one of the two telescope arrays that make up the SKA will be built in the Western Australian outback near Murchison, about 800 km NNE of Perth, a remote area almost d…
 
On September 14, 2015, gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes rippled through the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The measurement of these ripples would ultimately lead to the first direct detection of gravitational waves, the first observation of a binary black hole, and the birth of an entirely new fiel…
 
Presented by Prof. Darren Croton on 21 October 2016. Black holes are among the most bizarre objects predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Many people may not realise that our own galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its centre that is three million times more massive than our own Sun! In this talk Professor Darren Croton from t…
 
Presented by Prof. Matthew Bailes on 30 September 2016. Almost 50 years ago Jocelyn Bell built a new telescope with her supervisor Antony Hewish that had an unusual property: it had high time resolution. The radio sky was thought to only change on long timescales but this new telescope's ability to explore a different regime of phase space meant th…
 
Presented by on 22 July 2016 by Rebecca Allen. In the vast cold reaches of space life has been able to gain a foothold and flourish on at least one planet- ours. We know that water is critical to life, but we do not know how Earth got it. In this talk, we will first explore the ongoing search for the source of Earth's water. Next, we will talk abou…
 
Presented on 17 June 2016 by Allan Duffy. In the last 50 years astronomers have come to realise that there exists an invisible type of mass in the Universe, outweighing all of the atoms in every star, planet and person five times over. It's responsible for holding the galaxy together, for making the galaxies form where they do in the cosmos and is …
 
Presented on 20 May 2016 by Amanda Karakas. Most of the elements in the periodic table heavier than hydrogen and helium were forged in stars. Through the combined studies of stellar spectroscopy, nuclear physics, geochemistry, and astrophysics, humans have been able to work out the origin of many of the chemical elements that naturally occur in our…
 
Presented on 15 April 2016 by Dr Elisabete da Cunha. Almost one hundred years ago, astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionised our understanding of the Universe and our place in it when he discovered that it extends beyond the Milky Way. Since then, astronomers have identified millions of galaxies beyond our own, and developed sophisticated techniques t…
 
Presented on 18 March 2016 by Elodie Thilliez and Matthew Agnew. The Solar system is a remarkable place filled with wonderfully varied worlds. Travelling outwards from the sun we first encounter the hellish, rocky bodies of Mercury and Venus, continue to the cooler, water bearing world of Earth and our close neighbour Mars. Beyond the asteroid belt…
 
Presented by Dr Pablo A. Rosado on 18th February 2016. One of the greatest scientific discoveries of all times was achieved last week: the first detection of gravitational waves, emitted by a black hole binary. This discovery follows decades of intense work, and opens a new window to the Universe. This talk, for scientists and for non-scientists, i…
 
Presented on 4 December 2015 by Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith. What is Dark Matter? How did the solar system form? Was Einstein right about the nature of gravity? Are we alone in the universe? To tackle these fascinating questions and more, an international consortium of eleven nations is currently designing the 'Square Kilometre Array' (SKA) telescope. Com…
 
Presented by Dr Laura Wolz on Friday 23 October 2015. Radio telescopes have made numerous appearances in media and films due to their huge, mechanical appearances contrasting with the natural background. The gigantic size of the dishes are essential for observing cosmic objects in high resolution following the basic rule: the longer the wavelength,…
 
Presented by Associate Professor Kim-Vy Tran on Friday 9 October 2015. Since Galileo's time, our ability to study the universe has been driven by our ability to collect light from distant objects. Due to tremendous technological advances in the last few decades, we can now study the most distant galaxies known in the universe. In addition to seeing…
 
Presented by Prof. Sarah Russell on 11 September 2015. 2015 has been decreed the International Year of Light by the United Nations, and in recognition of this we expand our public astronomy lecture series from telescopes to microscopes. Our immune system protects us from infections and cancer when it works well, and caused autoimmune diseases when …
 
Presented by Prof. Roger Davies on 4 September 2015. Using exceptional data from Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have discovered supermassive black holes, with masses ranging from millions to billions times the mass of the Sun, at the very centre of massive galaxies. Intriguingly the mass of this central black hole scales with many of the proper…
 
Celebrate the International Year of Light and National Science Week 2015 with Assoc. Prof. Chris Fluke, as he hosts his fifth annual review of the State of the Universe. This year, the focus is on the visual Universe. No supercomputers. No radiotelescopes. Just good old fashioned astronomy with images. Taken from spacecraft. Which needed radio tele…
 
Presented by Emily Petroff on 19 June 2015. Most things in the Universe happen over millions or even billions of years but some things change on the timescales of human life and can be seen to change in a matter of months, days, or even seconds. These sources are called transients and are some of the most extreme events in the Universe, things like…
 
Presented by Prof. Jeremy Mould on 7th May 2015. The skies of northern Chile are considered the best in the world for astronomy at visible through millimetre wavelengths. Most of the observatories are in the Norte Chico and Atacama regions. Cerro Paranal Observatory is the largest in the world. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array is an international…
 
Presented by Prof. Karl Glazebrook on 10th April 2015. The Universe began in the Big Bang now firmly established at 13.7 billion years ago. But then what? How did the hot expanding hydrogen of the early Universe turn in to the magnificent tapestry of the Universe we see around us? In this lecture I will tell the story of the galaxies, the building …
 
Presented by James Benford on 13th March 2015. Messaging to Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (METI) is an issue dividing those who want to announce our presence to the cosmos by broadcasting to the nearer stars and those who advocate international consultations on the societal risk of such transmissions. METI is the opposite of searching (SETI). METI…
 
Presented by David J. Wilner on 13 February 2015. Where did the Earth come from? How can we know? How can particles no larger than those in smoke come together to make a planet thousands of kilometers wide? Amazingly, radio telescope observations of material surrounding infant stars are starting to show us signs of planet formation in action. This …
 
Presented by Dr Katherine Mack on 7th December 2014. Everything humanity has ever seen or experienced represents a tiny speck in a vast and mysterious Universe. What else is out there, and how are we figuring it out? What puzzles still wait to be solved? Come with your questions about dark matter, dark energy, black holes, or the ultimate fate of t…
 
Presented by Assoc Prof. Virginia Kilborn on 7th November 2014. Hydrogen gas is one of the main components in a galaxy like our own Milky Way - but we can't see it when we gaze into the night sky. I will take you on a journey of the unseen parts of our Galaxy - and others like it - using sensitive observations taken with Australia's best radio tele…
 
Presented by Prof. Sheila Rowan on 17th October 2014. The information carried by these signals will give us new insight into the hearts of some of the most violent events in the Cosmos - from black holes to the beginning of the Universe. A global network of gravitational wave detectors is in now reaching the final stages of construction, with first…
 
Presented by Dr Pamela Gay on 7th October 2014. Scientific literacy is required if we want our global society to succeed, but for a variety of reasons, science isn't a passion for most people, and most of the people in science are stereotypical white men. This is particularly true in the field of astronomy. In order to build a future that is more i…
 
Presented by Associate Professor Darren Croton on 19th September 2014. Black holes are amongst the most bizarre objects predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Many people may not realise that our own galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its centre that is three million times more massive than our own Sun! In this talk Associate …
 
Presented by Dr Jeff Cooke, Mark Durre and Associate Professor Michael Murphy on 18th July 2014. Swinburne University of Technology astronomers will share their stories of discovery using twin 10-metre telescopes at the W M Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii at a free public lecture on 18 July. Each year since 2008, Swinburne astronomers have …
 
Presented Assoc. Prof. John O'Meara on 6th July 2014. Through the combination of large telescopes, advanced computer simulations and advancing theory, cosmologists have made significant progress in describing the universe on the largest scales and over cosmic times. However, many questions remain. Amongst these is a fundamental question underpinnin…
 
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