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Sydney Science Forum: A new way of looking at the sky



9 March 2012

Hear how Australian astronomers are leading the way with a revolutionary new approach to studying the cosmos, when Professor Bryan Gaensler, Director of CAASTRO - the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics - presents his Sydney Science Forum 'A new way of looking at the sky' on Wednesday 14 March.

In this free public talk, Professor Gaensler, who is based in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, will take the audience on a journey from traditional astronomy which looks at tiny patches of stars in detail, to the new method of looking at huge parts of the sky at once to answer some of the big questions about our universe.

Professor Bryan Gaensler will show how Australian astronomers are leading the way with a revolutionary new approach to astronomy, when he presents his Sydney Science Forum 'A new way of looking at the sky' on Wednesday 14 March 2012.
Professor Bryan Gaensler will show how Australian astronomers are leading the way with a revolutionary new approach to astronomy, when he presents his Sydney Science Forum 'A new way of looking at the sky' on Wednesday 14 March 2012.

All-sky astronomy allows astronomers to tackle fundamental unsolved problems about the cosmos, such as how the universe evolved, how extreme physics drives sudden changes in the universe, and the nature of the Dark Energy and Dark Matter that make up a staggering 95% of the universe.

"The traditional approach to astronomy has had a lot of success, but we're now running up against a whole range of questions these old approaches can't answer," Professor Gaensler explained.

"The big unsolved questions in astronomy demand entirely new approaches, requiring us to look at the whole sky at once, rather than studying single objects in the sky in isolation," said Professor Gaensler.

"Amazingly, we now know almost everything about what the universe looks like and what it's made of, but we don't understand how we got here or how it all works.

"You really need to look at how everything fits together to truly understand what is going on out there and that's what Australian astronomers are doing with our all-sky approach to astronomy."

At the forefront of developing this new way of doing astronomy, CAASTRO is a national centre led by the University of Sydney, in collaboration with the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Swinburne University of Technology, as well as local and international partners.

Professor Gaensler will describe the exciting technology that is taking shape across Australia, and will explain the amazing discoveries that we are making about the universe through this bold new approach.

"Our research uses wider fields of view, with bigger data sets, processed more deeply and more subtly, than anyone has attempted before," said Professor Gaensler.

"In the last few years, Australia has invested more than $400 million in new wide-field telescopes and the high-performance computers needed to process the resulting torrents of data. The new all-sky telescopes will generate data at a rate so fast it would fill five hundred 160-GB iPods per second!

Hear Professor Bryan Gaensler reveal the exciting astronomy technology that is taking shape across Australia, and explain the amazing discoveries that Australian astronomers are making about the universe through their bold new all-sky approach at the Sydney Science Forum on 14 March 2012.
Hear Professor Bryan Gaensler reveal the exciting astronomy technology that is taking shape across Australia, and explain the amazing discoveries that Australian astronomers are making about the universe through their bold new all-sky approach at the Sydney Science Forum on 14 March 2012.

"Using these new tools, Australia now has the chance to be at the vanguard of the upcoming information revolution in all-sky astronomy."

Introducing one of the biggest projects in all-sky astronomy - the Square Kilometre Array - Professor Gaensler will talk about this next-generation radio telescope, which will be the largest and most powerful radio telescope ever constructed. Countries from all over the world are involved in planning the Square Kilometre Array and Australia is one of two potential locations for the new telescope being considered by an international panel.

"There's much to look forward to in the future of all-sky astronomy, as it will allow us to answer fundamental questions about the universe that can't be answered without it. Australian innovation is playing a huge role in this exciting future."

Sydney Science Forum: A new way of looking at the sky

Date: Wednesday 14 March 2012
Time: 5.45pm - 6.45pm
Location: Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney
Cost: Free
Bookings:http://sydney.nicheit.com.au/science/science_forum/


Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 20253e1f3a1d204a202d3a22042b373c3a5d3e79332f201b0440