Location: Perth Observatory
Time: 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (Gates open at 7:00 pm)
This winter, the Perth Observatory is holding a series of inspirational premium talks for the public. The talks of one-hour duration will be given by special guest speakers who will delve into astronomical subjects that will inspire you to look at the night sky with fresh eyes. In these cold and cloudy winter months make the most of the armchair astronomy and let us take you on a journey through the universe. A maximum capacity of 30 people ensures this will be an intimate setting to inspire your astronomical mind. Following the talk, you’ll be able to talk with the guest speaker and fellow attendees while sampling some of the great produce and wine from the local area.
The Observatory will be open from 7:00 pm so you’ll be able to browse our museum and see historical instruments, our meteorite exhibit, astrophotographs & artwork, and admire the beauty of the Atlas Coelestis, the first Star Atlas ever printed in 1729 from the work of John Flamsteed, the First Astronomer Royal at the Greenwich Observatory in Great Britain.
8th of July Speaker: Luke Davies
Cosmic Fossil Hunting – probing the evolution of galaxies in the Universe
Galaxies in the early Universe were very different to the ones we see today. The first galaxies were relatively simple systems, consisting of similar types of stars and gas. As the Universe has evolved, so have these galaxies, changing into the diverse array of structures we observe today; such as our own Milky Way. There are various factors that drive these evolutionary processes, such as where a galaxy lives, its available supply of gas to fuel the formation of new stars, its structure (spiral arms, bars, etc) and the presence or absence of a supermassive black hole. It is the varying contribution of these factors over cosmological timescales that determine a galaxy’s properties at the current point in time. In this talk, Luke will discuss the changes we observe in galaxies across the history of the Universe and how we piece these together to form a coherent picture of the evolution of galaxies – from the simple systems in the early Universes to the plethora of diverse structures we observe today. I will also discuss how galaxy evolution research in Western Australia in leading the world in understanding the formation of the immense conglomerates of stars we observe in the night sky.
5th of August Speaker: TG Tan
Discovering exoplanets and the amazing worlds that lie beyond our solar system
TG Tan is our local Perth exoplanet hunter extraordinaire, having co-discovered 27 exoplanets from his backyard PEST (Perth Exoplanet Survey Telescope) observatory. From Perth, TG has been involved in some of the big exoplanet discoveries, most recently LHS 1140b (a super-Earth in the habitable zone). TG will give us an inspiring view of how backyard astronomy can contribute to world class research. We will hear about how exoplanets are discovered, the LHS 1140b system and the fascinating TRAPPIST-1 system. You will never look up at the night sky again having heard this, without wondering about the incredible possibilities of untold worlds waiting to be discovered.
2nd of September Speaker: Roger Groom
Beyond nightscapes: Exploring beyond our visible night sky with astrophotography
Delving deep into the cosmos, learn what hidden gems lie beyond the classic Milky Way wide field nightscapes photograph. There is more to the night sky and astrophotography than initially meets the eye. Roger will take you on a tour through time and space, inspiring you to train your eyes and perhaps even camera on new targets. While not technically focused, Roger’s presentation will include some tips for where you may wish to take your astrophotography if you are so inclined.