Astronomy Open Night 2016 saw several guest speakers give a short talk to the visitors.
Title: Can Black Holes Shine?
Abstract: Black holes are exotic objects whose gravity is so extreme that nothing, not even light itself, can escape their grasp. Despite this, they also have the ability to shine more brightly than an entire galaxy’s worth of stars. In this presentation, Michael Cowley, a Macquarie University astronomer, provides us with a brief history of black holes and the secret behind their illumination.
Dr. Matt Owers
Title: The hostile environment of cosmic behemoths: Clusters of galaxies
Abstract: Galaxy clusters are among the largest and most massive coherent objects in the observable Universe. In this talk, I will describe the main components of galaxy clusters, from the hundreds to thousands of galaxies, the 10 million degree gas to the mysterious dark matter. I will also outline how clusters form over the 13.7 Billion year life of the Universe, and how the cluster environment can affect the properties of the galaxies that reside there.
Dr. Alex Arriola
Title: On the search for new planets in other galaxies
Abstract: Over the last 5 years scientists around the world have discovered around 2000 planets, however thus far we have not been able to answer one of the main questions of Humankind: are we alone? In order for a planet to sustain life it needs to have liquid water in its surface, which implies certain temperature and atmosphere constrains. In this talk we will do an overview of the main planet hunting instruments and techniques in the world and then focus on Macquarie University’s astrophotonics group approach.
Title: Astrophotography in a big city
Abstract: The cosmos is filled with visually beautiful objects. You might think that the light pollution in a big city like Sydney
prevents us from seeing these objects. In this talk, Andrew Lehmann talks about how a modest sized telescope
combined with an astronomical camera can peer through the city night sky to reveal some amazing objects.