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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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Ryan-Weber leads the intergalactic medium research group at Swinburne. Her science focuses on detecting elements heavier than Helium in absorption at very high redshifts (12 billion years ago). To achieve this we use near-infrared spectroscopy towards high redshift quasars on the world's largest telescopes including Keck (Hawaii) and the VLT (Chile). She received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2004, spent 5 years at the University of Cambridge and commenced her position at Swinburne in 2009. Ryan-Weber is one of three Swinburne CIs for the CAASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence. Recorded on 10 February 2017.
Knowing what you want for your future, what you want to do, and who you want to be is never easy. Hear the stories of six of our very own Swinburne staff as they look back on their own times of discovery, uncertainty and clarity and they reveal their own moment of 'knowing'.
A pair of massive black holes spiral together and merge. This artist's impression includes gravitational lensing (magnifying and distorting) of the background light by the black hole's strong gravitational field, the creation and gravitational slingshot ejection of hypervelocity stars, and the capture of stars by the black holes with occasional tidal disruption events (TDEs) in which some of these stars are torn apart and a flare of emission from their hot interiors is seen before they cross the black hole's event horizon. The collective removal of stars, predominantly by the binary black holes ejecting them from the centre of the galaxy where they themselves reside, can result in large partially depleted galaxy cores that astronomers have observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. Black hole merging events are a known source of gravitational waves, ripples in the gravitational force field that permeates the universe. The first such radiation was detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observ…
This one-day multi-disciplinary event brought together Swinburne staff, researchers, PhD students, software developers, and project managers involved in e-Research activities across the University.
In this video Professor Matthew Bailes discusses the capabilities of Swinburne University's 'Green Machine', its newest supercomputer.Through the power of the Green Machine, Swinburne Astronomers have made exciting discoveries, like the diamond planet.
The 'Swinburne Story' series will take an inside view into the journey of inspirational members of the Swinburne community who share their career story and personal trajectories. In the first instalment of this video series, Professor of Astrophysics, Sarah Maddison talks about her life and career journey and shares her thoughts on current projects, being a female leader and following your dreams.
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.
Almost one hundred years ago, astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionised our understanding of the Universe and our place in it when he discovered that it extends beyond the Milky Way. Since then, astronomers have identified millions of galaxies beyond our own, and developed sophisticated techniques to measure their distances and motions. In this talk, I will show how astronomers map the Universe using large surveys of galaxies, and how "cosmic maps" are an essential tool in Cosmology, allowing us to understand the physical nature and history of the Universe. Presented on 15 April 2016.
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.
Almost 50 years ago Jocelyn Bell built a new telescope with her supervisor Antony Hewish that had an unusual property: it had high time resolution. The radio sky was thought to only change on long timescales but this new telescope's ability to explore a different regime of phase space meant that it made one of the greatest discoveries in astronomy, that of pulsars. Pulsars are neutron stars, the collapsed cores of once-massive stars. They have been used to perform some of the most accurate experiments in physics, and were the motivation for the construction of the LIGO telescope that recently discovered gravitational waves. In this talk Professor Matthew Bailes will explain how whilst trying to find new pulsars astronomers stumbled across a brand new phenomenon, the Fast Radio Bursts. These millisecond-duration radio flashes appear to be coming from half way across the Universe but nobody knows what they are. Presented on 30 September 2016.