10 questions with… Julia Wilks


Julia Wilks usually spends her Friday nights hanging out with all the big stars (at the Macquarie  Astronomical Observatory, that is).

1. In a nutshell, my job is to…
Run astronomical observing sessions at the Macquarie Observatory for members of the public keen to learn more about the universe around us.

2. The question I hear most often in my work is…
How powerful are our telescopes and how far can we see with them?

3. The thing I find most rewarding in my role is…
Working with kids to get them engaged and interested in space. It’s very rewarding to be able to fan the flame of excitement surrounding space travel and astronomical discoveries.

4. The bravest thing I’ve done is…
Remove a big spider from a group of screaming kids once when I was running a solar astronomy session on campus.

5. A place that’s special to me is…
The ocean – I love its unpredictability and how it connects every country. I always find a real peace in surfing the ocean waves. You have no control over them – you just have to roll with whatever the ocean gives you!

6. My guilty pleasure is…
Oreos, you can never have just one.

7. I’m scared of…
Nuclear war, I hope as evolved apes we are smarter than to ever use them on one another. There is always room for resolution before warfare.

8. My hidden talent is…
I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of pigeons.

9. Something I’ve never done but wanted to try is…
Skateboard down one of the famous mountain roads in Switzerland, but I’m too chicken!

10. A moment I’ll always remember is…
Seeing the last total solar eclipse in Australia when I was 8 years old. My family and I drove out to the centre of a desert, past opal towns to get into the path of totality. We went off-road and found an empty region where we were able to watch the eclipse without another soul around us.

‘Night Sky Discovery’ evening observatory sessions are held every week. Tickets $13.50 – $18.50 (children under five free). Book now.






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