AAS Event Calendar

Film Night - Sep
Monday 23 Sep, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Gavin Logan

TBA



Introduction to Astronomy - October
Monday 07 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

Chris Benton will do a pictorial "Show and Tell" story of three large professional telescopes he recently visited to provide an insight into their operations and research. These include the Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii; and the European Southern Observatory and Atacama Large Millimeter Array in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

More importantly, however, this topic provides an ideal vehicle to discuss important principles of science and observational astronomy. An easy to understand explanation of the full spectrum of light followed by how the atmosphere affects the various wavelengths, will clearly illustrate why remote and elevated locations are best for these and future telescopes.



Monthly Meeting - Oct - Imaging the Invisible
Monday 14 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Dr Willem Van Straten

The radio signals from pulsars travel to Earth along multiple ray paths owing to both diffractive and refractive effects of turbulent structure in the free electrons along the line of sight.  By studying the twinkling of pulsars, we can image and study otherwise invisible structures in the ionised interstellar medium.  In principle, these maps can be used to mitigate a significant source of systematic error in Pulsar Timing Array experiments, which aim to detect the very low-frequency gravitational wave background produced by the host of supermassive binary black holes that merged in the distant past.

Dr Willem Van Straten:

As an undergraduate in Canada, I was preparing for a job in the space industry when I learned about radio astronomy and new ways to study the physical extremes of our Universe through pulsars.  I completed my PhD on high-precision pulsar timing in Australia before undertaking post-doctoral and academic staff appointments at the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy (ASTRON), The Centre for Gravitational Wave Astronomy (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), and the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing (Swinburne University of Technology).  In 2016, I joined AUT as a Senior Lecturer.

I’ve co-authored over 100 refereed journal articles, primarily related to the study of pulsars and fast radio bursts, including 4 in Science and 2 in Nature.  I work closely with international collaborators on large, long-term projects such as the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA), and the Survey for Pulsars and Extragalactic Radio Bursts (SUPERB).  In support of these projects, I’ve led the development of three scientific data analysis packages that are used by the international community of pulsar astronomers (psrdada, dspsr, and psrchive).  I also led the design of the pulsar timing instrumentation for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) as a member of the SKA Central Signal Processor consortium.




Practical Astronomy - Oct
Monday 21 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

TBA



Astrophotography Group - Oct
Monday 21 Oct, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA



Film Night - October: Light Pollution - The Disappearing Darkness
Monday 28 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Gavin Logan

This months film is a documentary entitled "Light Pollution - The Disappearing Darkness" which tells about how growing light pollution around the world is affecting astronomy and our views of the night sky. It also covers some of the solutions for this problem.



Introduction to Astronomy - Nov
Monday 04 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

TBA



Monthly Meeting - Nov
Monday 11 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: TBA

TBA



Practical Astronomy - Nov
Monday 18 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

TBA



Astrophotography Group - Nov
Monday 18 Nov, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA



Burbidge Dinner 2019
Friday 22 Nov, 2019 at 18:30Hrs
Venue: Ellerslie Events Center
Speaker/Host: Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn

After Dinner Lecture:

"The Galactic Centre - a Window into the Future"

Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn, (Director, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, University of Sydney)

The centre of our Galaxy harbours a massive black hole Sgr A* that is likely to be the oldest component of the Galaxy
along with the invisible dark matter around it. How this amazing object came into existence and evolved over 13 billion
years is intimately linked to the nature of the first stars, the chemical elements today and the evolution of dark matter
 and gas. Sgr A* is one of the fastest developing fields in astrophysics where discoveries are made every year.
For example, the most energetic particles ever detected by IceCube in Antarctica, and by telescopes in Namibia
and Argentina, are thought to have been created at the Galactic Centre. Our x-ray and infrared satellites pick up flaring
activity near the black hole each day. The speaker discovered that Sgr A* triggered a huge explosion about 2 million
years ago, when cave people walked the Earth; this was recently confirmed by NASA’s Fermi gamma-ray satellite.
The new ESO Gravity instrument tracks the motion of the closest stars to Sgr A* and detects movement every single
day! One star even reaches 32,000 km/s at closest approach, 12% of the speed of light. Other stars have escaped the
Sgr A* region being ejected at speeds of 2000 km/s into the Galaxy. So what does the future hold and what can we
learn from these remarkable observations? We will explore these topics and some crazy ideas.
Joss Hawthorn is one of Australias leading astronomers with the rare distinction of having made important contributions to both astrophysics and technology. He was born in Kent, educated at an Oxford boarding school before going to university in Birmingham (BSc) and Sussex (PhD). In the period 1985-1993, Joss was an astrophysicist at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii and a professor of physics at Rice University Texas. In 1993, he moved to the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Sydney, eventually to become Head of the research and development team.


Today, he is the Laureate Fellow Professor of The University of Sydney’s School of Physics, and Director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, co-Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, and Principal Investigator for the Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Labs. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Optical Society of America, serves on the prestigious Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics Board, has published over 700 research papers in astronomy, physics, optics and photonics, and has been recognized with many international awards (see below), most recently the Miller Professorship to Berkeley (2018).


Joss’s team are building advanced machines, some funded by NASA, that are being installed on the world’s largest telescopes. In April 2017, one of his creations was launched on an Atlas-V rocket from Cape Canaveral on its way to the International Space Station, the first Australian university to do so. Joss lives in Mosman by Sydney harbour with his wife Susan and boys Christian and Luke. He is a jogger, a sculls rower at the North Shore Rowing Club and plays soccer for Mosman O35.

As well as our guest speaker there will be the prize giving for the New Zealand Astrophotography Competition including the Harry Williams Trophy for the supreme winner, and the Beaumont Writing Prize. A spectacular venue, great meal, cash bar and ample free parking

Date: Friday, 22nd November 2019
Venue:Ellerslie Events Centre,
Pakuranga Hunt Room
Start Time: 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Tickets: $65 pp, earlybird price of $60.00 is available until 31st October Includes a buffet dinner.
Tickets can be booked: -by email at events@astronomy.org.nz -by phone to Niven on 021 935 261 or Bill on 021 225 8175



Film Night - November: Quantum Riddle - Quantum Entanglement
Monday 25 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Gavin Logan

This months film is a 2019 Documentary on Quantum Entanglement.
Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance,” but today quantum entanglement is poised to revolutionize technology from computers to cryptography. Physicists have gradually become convinced that the phenomenon—two subatomic particles that mirror changes in each other instantaneously over any distance—is real. But a few doubts remain. This documentary follows a ground-breaking experiment in the Canary Islands to use quasars at opposite ends of the universe to once and for all settle remaining questions. 

This Film is 1 hour 10 minutes long and will be the only film shown at this Film Night.



Introduction to Astronomy - Dec
Monday 02 Dec, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

TBA



Monthly Meeting - Dec
Monday 09 Dec, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: TBA

TBA



Astrophotography Group - Dec
Monday 16 Dec, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA



Practical Astronomy - Dec
Monday 16 Dec, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

TBA



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