The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing is one of the premier research Astronomy centres in Australia. Research interests include galaxies, globular clusters, pulsars, stars and planets, supermassive black holes, Big Bang cosmology and scientific visualisation.
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Galaxies are the largest structures of matter in our Universe. Our own Milky Way has been studied in glorious detail. We know it has billions of stars, around most of which planets are likely to be found. There is a super massive black hole at its center where anything that gets too close will be consumed. There are intricate dust lanes that obscure the main disk of the galaxy. There is the life-force of stars, hydrogen gas. Finally, there is the mysterious dark matter that acts as a gravitational glue holding the ordinary matter together. But our galaxy is just one of many, and since their discovery, understanding how these complex objects form and evolve has been a focus of astronomers. There are many pathways to reveal more about the nature and evolution of galaxies. In this talk, Dr Rebecca Allen from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, will share how she uses the sizes of galaxies to understand more about their growth. Presented on Friday 12 May 2017.
The whole Universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started. Wait... is the Bang Bang true and how do we know? In this talk Associate Professor Emma Ryan-Weber from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing will describe the observational evidence for Big Bang Cosmology and how it sets the initial conditions for every atom in the Universe. The talk is especially suitable for year 11 teachers and students studying VCE Physics Unit 1, area of study 3 "What is matter and how is it formed". Presented on 10 February 2017.
How do astronomers reconstruct the entire history of the universe, including the many hundreds of millions of galaxies and billions of stars it contains, inside a supercomputer? This talk will show you! Recorded on 13 February 2015.
In the last 50 years astronomers have come to realise that there exists an invisible type of mass in the Universe, outweighing all of the atoms in every star, planet and person five times over. It' responsible for holding the galaxy together, for making the galaxies form where they do in the cosmos and is our best guide to physics beyond the Higgs boson, aka the 'god' particle. Yet astronomers are no nearer to understanding its nature. Using a combination of baby universes created on Australia's most powerful telescopes, next generation telescopes like the Australian SKA Pathfinder, and a wine glass, Alan will explore what we know about the invisible and how Australia may uncover the most sought after particle in physics with the world's first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere, SABRE. Presented on 17 June 2016.
Swinburne Vice Chancellor's Award nominees celebrate the year's achievements. The VC's Awards are an opportunity to recognise the University's amazing achievements and to reward the talent, initiatives and outstanding individuals helping Swinburne to achieve excellence.
As part of a 14 billion years old expanding universe, we are able to directly experience only a tiny part of its history. In order to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the universe, it is fundamental to study the properties of objects which are billions of light years away from us. In fact, the light coming from these galaxies travels at a finite speed, giving us a picture of how they were when the universe was much younger. However galaxies are complex systems that evolve as they form new stars and interact with each other. As galaxies become old they acquire an apparently featureless elliptical morphology that, despite its structural simplicity, encloses all the complexities involved in galaxy evolution. Likewise a collection of family portraits that tells about the human society at the time when the pictures were taken, the observation and the subsequent comparison of nearby and distant elliptical galaxies allow us to reconstruct the evolution of the universe. In this talk we will present some result…
Black holes are amongst the most bizarre objects predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Many people may not realise that our own galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its centre that is three million times more massive than our own Sun! In this talk Associate Professor Darren Croton discusses the physics of black holes and their formation, how they can grow to become so massive, active black hole "quasars" in the distant universe and the unexpected impact that a supermassive black hole can have on the evolution of an entire galaxy. We will finish by side stepping into the exotic world of wormholes, the black hole's tormented cousin.
Astronomers and Physicists have an interesting ongoing relationship. Normally, physicists explain natural phenomena, and tell astronomers what they should be probing in space. Once in a while, however, astronomers point out observations that cause the theorists to poke in the dark for interpretations. Dr. Kazin will bring the audience up to speed on the frontiers of these golden ages of cosmology and explain why scientists are still baffled about the mysterious dark nature of the Universe.
Black holes are among the most bizarre objects predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Many people may not realise that our own galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its centre that is three million times more massive than our own Sun! In this talk Professor Darren Croton from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing will discuss the physics of black holes and their formation, how they can grow to become so massive, active black hole "quasars" in the distant universe, and the unexpected impact that a supermassive black hole can have on the evolution of an entire galaxy. Professor Croton will finish by side stepping into the exotic world of wormholes, the black hole's tormented cousin. Presented on 21 October 2016.
Just over a century ago the fixed stars we see in the night sky were the limit of the entire Universe. The Universe was assumed to be static. Now we have discovered that our Universe is not only expanding but is also accelerating. Galaxies play an important role here. In this talk I will describe how our knowledge about the Universe as a whole is evolving over time with emerging techniques and technologies.