EMINENT SCIENCE SPEAKER
You are invited to participate in an inspiring presentation by Professor Ron Ekers – CSIRO Fellow – Australian Telescope National Facility
QUASARS – A story of discovery from the Milky Way to the edge of the Universe
50 years ago, on 16 March 1963, the discovery of the first quasar, 3C273, was published in Nature. The discovery was based on a lunar occultation observed at the Parkes radio telescope in Australia and a red-shift measurement of the identified star obtained at the Mt Palomar optical observatory in California.
The discovery of quasars resulted in a paradigm shift in astronomy as it was realised that the violent explosions in the nuclei of galaxies could be seen to the edge of the universe and that it would take a black-hole to provide the energy.
In this talk Professor Ekers will follow the steps in this discovery process starting from the puzzle of the source of radio emission coming from space, illustrating how a sequence of discoveries which changed our view of the Universe were made and also how the unexpected discoveries were often missed.
It will conclude with a glimpse of what we have learned in the last 50 years and where we might go next with telescopes such as the SKA.
About the speaker: PROFESSOR RON EKERS was appointed Foundation Director of CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility in 1988 and he continued in this role until 1 March 2003, when he took up his Federation Fellowship.
He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1963 and gained his PhD in astronomy at the Australian National University in 1967. His professional career has taken him to the California Institute of Technology, the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in Cambridge, UK, the Kapteyn Laboratory in Groningen, The Netherlands, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, New Mexico USA. He was director of the VLA, the major national radio telescope in the USA, from 1980 until 1987.
He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a Foreign Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science in 1993, a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2003 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005. He is past President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and a member of the Advisory Board for the Peter Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize.
Ron’s research interests include extragalactic astronomy, especially cosmology, galactic nuclei and radio astronomical techniques. His Federation Fellowship project addresses fundamental issues in star formation in the early universe and instrumental techniques including detection of high energy particles.
Audience: This is a public event. Curtin staff and students are also welcome to attend.
Date: 19 March 2013
Time: 7.00 to 8.00pm (please arrive by 6.45pm)
Location: Curtin University
To book: visit http://curtinuniversityquasars.eventbrite.com.au