NSAS General Meeting for August; special speaker

3 08 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for August will be on Tuesday the 15th August at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Christine Lynch from USyd.

“My talk will be about using MHz-frequency radio telescopes (like the Murchison Widefield Array) to search for radio emission from exoplanets and what that radio emission can tell us about exoplanets.”

As usual, guests are most welcome!

Title: Characterising stellar and planetary magnetic fields via low-frequency radio astronomy

Abstract:

Establishing what criteria define habitability is essential for determining the potential for life outside the Solar System. Traditionally, a planet is considered habitable if it is orbiting within the circumstellar region  that makes possible the existence of liquid water on the planet’s surface. However, an equally important factor in determining habitability is the stability of a planet’s atmosphere, which regulates its surface temperature. Intense stellar magnetic activity can erode the planet’s atmosphere. Strong planetary magnetic fields may mitigate the impact of the stellar magnetic activity. Thus to evaluate a planet’s habitability, the magnetic fields of both star and planet must be considered. M dwarf stars are of particular interest as they are currently favoured as most likely to host habitable, nearby exoplanets. Yet the extreme magnetic activity observed for some M dwarf stars places some doubt on the ability of orbiting exoplanets to host life. Radio observations uniquely provide direct measurements of the magnetic field strengths associated with stars and planets. New wide-field, low frequency radio telescopes will probe a frequency regime that is mostly unexplored for many magnetically active stars and where exoplanets are expected to produce radio emission. In this talk I’ll present my latest results using the Murchison Widefield Array, a low frequency radio telescope located in Western Australia, to constrain the magnetic activity of star-planet systems.





NSAS General Meeting for July; special speaker

9 07 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for July will be on Tuesday the 18th July at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Stuart Ryder from the AAO.
 
Title: A Night on SOFIA

Abstract: In 2016 I had the rare opportunity to fly on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a Boeing 747 with a 2.5m telescope that flies above 40,000 ft and most of the atmospheric water vapour that absorbs far-infrared radiation. In this talk I will outline what it took to get SOFIA off the ground, and give an inside look at what observing with the world’s only flying telescope is like.

As usual, guests are most welcome!





NSAS General Meeting for June; special speaker

5 06 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for June will be on Tuesday the 20th June at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Chris Lidman from AAO, and he’ll be talking about the Dark Energy Survey.

“Ever since the discovery of the accelerating universe 20 years ago, astronomers have been trying to understand the reasons for the acceleration by undertaking ever more detailed surveys of the cosmos. The Dark Energy Survey is the latest, and currently, largest survey of this type.  In this talk, I will provide an overview of the Dark Energy Survey, present some preliminary results, and discuss some of the even larger surveys that astronomers are planning to undertake in the near future.”

As usual, guests are most welcome!





NSAS General Meeting for May; special speaker

1 05 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for May will be on Tuesday the 16th May at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Glenn Davis from Francis Lord Optical, who will talking to us about the optics done by them for LIGO.

“Back in September 2015 Gravitational Waves were recorded for the first time, and verified the following February. The instrument that recorded the signal is called LIGO.
What few people  realise,  is that all the optics were manufactured in Australia by the CSIRO.
Glenn Davis who was one of the 13 people working on the project, will be talking about how these optics were  fabricated to such high tolerances!”

As usual, guests are most welcome!

 





NSAS General Meeting for April; special speaker

5 04 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for April will be on Tuesday the 18th at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our speaker is Luke Tscharke, Night Sky Astrophotographer, who will show his work and describe the techniques.

“In my presentation I will be discussing wide field astrophotography and nightscapes. I will cover the following aspects:
• The equipment I use to capture my images
• Top locations in Australian for wide field astrophotography images
• Safety tips for shooting in the dark
• Camera settings for a wide field astrophotography shoot
• Planning for a wide field astrophotography shoot, including a demo of the apps I use for the planning”

As usual, guests are most welcome!





Ancient Indian Astronomy

26 03 2017

For those that enjoyed Krishan’s talk, I have uploaded a copy of his slides onto the NSAS website. Look for the “Lecture Notes” link under the Media/Links tab.
For those who are lazy, click here.
Dave W.





NSAS General Meeting for March; special speaker

9 03 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for March will be on Tuesday the 21st at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Fred Watson is our special treat as speaker this month.  Many of you will have seen him on TV or in person, and know that he never disappoints.  His subject for us is:

Build an Observatory! A nineteenth century global imperative.

Why do so many of the world’s great cities house ageing astronomical institutions within their limits? From Marseilles to Melbourne, from Paris to Pulkovo, the unmistakable architecture of a nineteenth century observatory is easily discovered by visitors. In this talk, Fred Watson explores the reasons for this ubiquitous astronomical presence while taking a tour of some of the leading representatives. He also reveals some of the more outlandish examples of the genre, and the extraordinary characters who built them.

FRED WATSON comes from a long line of Freds, but was the first in his family to become a scientist. He has been an astronomer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory since 1995, and is best known for his radio and TV broadcasts, talks, and other outreach programs, which earned him the 2006 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science. He has written a number of popular astronomy books, and has both a science-themed CD and an award-winning symphony libretto to his name. Fred was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010. He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won’t be his fault.

As usual, guests are most welcome!