2016 AstroLight

Letting you know that the Program for the 2016 AstroLight festival, this year’s Astronomy and Light Festival is now up. So many talks, shows, activities, stalls, art, and even some prizes. Head to this year’s festival page for all of the updates and news.

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Check the Program page for the full schedule.

See the official Scienceworks What’s On page for further details and ticket sales. Tickets are limited, so get in quick!

Follow us on Twitter @astrofestVIC and Facebook #astrolight16

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The 2016 Festival

Hello!

We are back for 2016, the Astronomy and Light Festival, AstroLight2016, bringing you all the amazing research in astronomy and light to you at Scienceworks, only this year will be bigger and better! More talks, more shows, some very special guests, lots of displays, heaps of interactives and many of the favourites from last year. More science than you can poke a stick at!

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WHERE: SCIENCEWORKS, SPOTSWOOD

WHEN: SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER

TIME: 6PM-10PM

TICKETS: ON SALE NOW

Head to the new website and sign up for all the news and what will be happening on the night. Secure your Planetarium or Lightning Room tickets before the festival to avoid the queues.

See you all there!

See the official Scienceworks What’s On page for further details and ticket sales. Tickets are limited, so get in quick!

Follow us on Twitter @astrofestVIC and Facebook #astrolight16

 

It’s today!

The day has finally come!

Expect a packed program.

Entry is at 5pm through the Planetarium Entrance on the Craig St side.

Limited tickets will be on sale tonight, but you can still get your ticket through Eventbrite. Make sure you have your Eventbrite ticket with you and ready to be scanned.

Inside the foyer you can see some amazing videos from NASA and ESA

Astronomy isn’t just going outdoors at night and looking up at the night sky, 
getting cold and hoping it doesn’t rain.   You can do astronomy indoors, 
during the day (or night) from the comfort of your own computer.
Chris from MBO will be showing some of the many ways you can follow space missions 
online, including the latest images from Mars, Saturn, Pluto and Ceres, as 
well as seeing the sun in whole new ways (and if you’re really lucky, spotting 
a comet into the bargain).
He’ll also be showing a series of videos from NASA, ESA and the Australian SKA 
project.
Then make sure you head to the Amphitheatre by 5:15pm to hear Hon Tim Watt MP open the event. Tim is the federal member for Gellibrand and we thank him for giving up his precious time to attend the festival. We look forward to showing him some of the amazing science we have going on in Melbourne and Australia.
Enjoy the night!

The Program is UP

The Program is now available so you can plan your evening. There is no way you will be able to see everything so get planning or just see where you end up on the night.

ASTRONOMY AND LIGHT FESTIVAL PROGRAM - FINAL copy

Final Program (download program)

SW MapMap SW (download map)

Reminder doors open at 5pm and the official program starts at 5:20 and there will be shows right up till 8:45. A huge night of Science to be had. If you want to know what each activity involves, head to the Activities page with all the links to more information.

Also a reminder that the Scienceworks exhibit spaces will NOT be open on the night.

Astronomical and Illuminating Physics

The University of Melbourne‘s School of Physics will be all over the Lower Floor ready to amaze and astound you from Chemical Clocks and holographic images to interactive astronomy.

Getting ready for the Physics stalls
Getting ready for the Physics stalls

Try your hand at origami and help us put together an origami telescope mural. See how gravitational lensing works, predicted by Einstein and now one of the most powerful ways of looking at very distant galaxies.

Origami telescope designed by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
Origami telescope designed by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)

Head into the dark Alpha Room and find out how to make a hologram, or just admire them in action.

Workshop time - serious construction!
Workshop time – serious construction!
Big thanks to University of Melbourne Science and Engineering workshops for helping us out on this one!
Big thanks to University of Melbourne Science and Engineering workshops for helping us out on this one!

Have you ever heard of a chemical clock? Come along and watch as we investigate these amazing chemical changes and discuss the Physics and natural implications of these unique reactions work.

Chemical Clock
Chemical Clock

Or just come and talk to us about the latest Astronomy and Light research happening in Australia from CAASTRO, SKA and the Australian Synchrotron. You may even catch our special guest speakers hanging around, so make sure you ask them all your burning questions!

Remember to keep up to date with all the latest news on our Facebook and Twitter sites too. And tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Rainbow in a Box

Announcing another great activity and plenty more interactives in the Pumping Station brought to you by the Swinburne University of Technology. More light to be amazed by!

Wikicommons
Wikicommons

The Rainbox in a Box activity allows children to get hands-on with light using a simple spectrometer. We have numerous light sources to investigate and several other optical demonstrations to intruigue and amaze. There will also be an activity sheet provided.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Swinburne University aims to inspire and train the next generation of Australian scientists and engineers, that is why we are here tonight. In addition to Astrofest the Department also provides a monthly series of free public lectures and a number of outreach programs for schools and the general public. To continue this inspirational journey check out “Swinburne Public Lectures” or “Swinburne Astrotours” and take the next step.Swinburne University of Technology

Science at Swinburne: We understand scientific and technological knowledge is advancing at an unprecedented rate; enabling us to better understand the world around us. Our science courses take you on a journey of discovery and innovation. We provide the foundational knowledge and skills needed to put your natural curiosity into practice. We also place a strong emphasis on practical learning to give you a head start in your future career. Solving global health and environmental problems and making discoveries in our state-of-the-art laboratories are only the beginning of the industry learning we provide: It’s just a matter of choosing the course that suits the future you can picture. You’ll also discover research as a strong course component, thanks to Swinburne’s extensive connections with national and international industries and researchers through our global recognition as a world top 100 physics research school.

You can keep up to date on all the latest from the Department of Science and Astronomy at Swinburne through their website, and our good friend Dr Alan Duffy on Twitter @astroduff, who will be sorely missed but no doubt entertaining the National Science Week masses all over the country!

Remember to keep up to date with all the latest news on our Facebook and Twitter sites too. And tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Using Synchrotron Light to investigate the solar system.

The second speaker from the Australian Synchrotron is Dr Helen Brand. Helen manages to look at the structure of planets in our solar system and beyond right here in Melbourne and no she doesn’t send the synchrotron beam up into space like the Death Star, she does it in a very clever way that doesn’t destroy worlds. helenbrand

Using Synchrotron Light to investigate the solar system.

 The Australian Synchrotron is a world-class particle accelerator technology which produce a powerful source of light – X-rays and infrared radiation – a million times brighter than the sun. The facility has nine different experimental stations, or beamlines, which harness that light so researchers can see the fundamental structure and composition of materials, on scales ranging from the atomic to the macroscopic – with a level of detail, speed and accuracy not possible in conventional laboratories. synchrotron2

Geological processes on planets and satellites of the solar system can be controlled by the properties of the materials that they are made of. In this talk we will explore how researchers using the synchrotron can investigate processes and materials which are important on planetary bodies throughout the solar system as well as some closer to home applications.

The New Horizons spacecraft, on a recent flyby of Pluto, has, for the first time, shown us this distant dwarf planet close up, providing a wealth of new and breathtaking images and data. We will explore some of the images and discuss the features they have illuminated.australian-synchrotronLogo

Come along to Helen’s talk in the Lightning Room and also see her on one of the fascinating Panel sessions. If you drop by the display tables on the lower foyer, you can learn more about the Australian Synchrotron and you may see Helen there to ask her some questions. You can also find out more on Helen’s website and follow her Scientific Adventures on Twitter @heab.

Remember to keep up to date with all the latest news on our Facebook and Twitter sites too. And tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Making images and treating disease with X-ray Light

I get to announce the last two talks which will be in the Lightning Room between Lightning Room Shows. Both speakers are from the Australian Synchrotron, the strongest Light source in Australia.australian-synchrotronLogo

The first talk will be given by Dr Chris Hall who works on the Imaging and Medical Beam Line. He will be showing us some of the amazing images coming out of this fantastic facility.chrishall

The synchrotron storage ring is a wonderful source of bright beams of light. At the Australian Synchrotron we make use of the x-ray part of the spectrum of the light it produces for many different kinds of experiments. Some are harder to understand than other but perhaps the most familiar would be x-ray imaging, or radiography. The AS has a dedicated facility for investigating and using unique methods of radiography for science. We call our tool the Imaging and Medical Beam Line, or IMBL for short. We can use IMBL to make 3-D –ray images in very short times, and with exceptional clarity. It’s currently used to look deep into the workings of our body; and at the materials we either extract from nature or make to use for manufacturing.

Our bright x-ray beams can also be used for treatment of disease. This is called radiotherapy, and IMBL is a fantastic tool for investigating how cells and tissues that suffer from a disease like cancer can be cured with radiation. We need to do this without harming the healthy tissue surrounding them and IMBL also provides a unique way to research this.

Come along to Chris’s talk in the Lightning Room and also see him on one of the fascinating Panel sessions. If you drop by the display tables on the lower foyer, you can learn more about the Australian Synchrotron and you may see Chris there to ask him some questions.

Remember to keep up to date with all the latest news on our Facebook and Twitter sites too. And tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Illuminating Chemistry

Come on down to the lower foyer to see what role Chemistry plays in the world of light.

We show you the chemistry behind producing light from chemical reactions and show you the subtile chemicals in everyday life that emit light and change the way you see the world. Ask us about how chemicals glow, fluoresce, and absorb light, and see how light energy is exploited in our everyday lives.

Credit: Wikicommons
Credit: Wikicommons
The University of Melbourne School of Chemistry is going to illuminate us with all sorts of light. Look out for the signs as we have hidden them away in a dark room so the unexpected will come to life! Come and say hello to Peter and Stacey and be ready to be amazed.
Also ask Peter how he races gaseous molecules and can stimulate a change in drift speed with laser light, then extract important information on a molecule’s structure, energy, and dependence on different coloured light!

Radio Astronomy

A lot of people don’t realise that there is more to light that the optical spectrum that we see – basically the rainbow.

Credit: Istvan Takacs
Credit: Istvan Takacs

There is a lot more to light including x-rays, microwaves and radio waves and astronomy uses all of these types of light to look at the Universe.

Credit: Hubblesite
Credit: Hubblesite

Radio Astronomy has a long and proud history in Australia and we are very excited to have two radio astronomy demonstrations happening at the festival.

MWA (Murchison Wide-field Array)

Did you know that you can use sticks of metal, with no moving parts, to understand the Universe of 13 billion years ago? Better still, that you can make pictures, without even having a telescope dish, using radio waves? If that sounds interesting, come and check out the MWA tile stand!

MWA Tile in Murchison, Western Australia
MWA Tile in Murchison, Western Australia

We will have MBO members and CAASTRO Astrophysicists working together to construct an MWA tile on the oval and explaining how some ‘metal sticks’ can reveal the Universe.

ASV

The ASV will also be showing off their radio astronomy chapter and setting up a radio telescope in the ground foyer area, so come along and have a chat and explore the full spectrum of light.

Remember to keep up to date with all the latest news on our Facebook and Twitter sites too. And tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Saturday 22nd August Scienceworks