Hey Melbourne: Go Watch Australian Scientists Talk About Space

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I'm in Sydney right now, and guess what that means? I can't go watch Alan Duffy talk about Extragalactic Astronomy, Stefania Barsanti chat Massively Multiplexed Spectroscopic Surveys or Rajika Kuruwita explore Planetary Astrophysics.

But if you're in Melbourne - you can. Swinburne University of Technology is hosting the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia for 2018 at its Hawthorn campus this week. Please go on my behalf, let me live vicariously through you.

The ASA conference is the largest national astronomy meeting in Australia and a rare chance for hundreds of astronomers to meet, share their latest research and forge new collaborations. Scientists from all over Australia will meet at Swinburne to speak on a range of topics, including high energy astrophysics, big data and computing, cosmology and the future of Australian optical astronomy.

Swinburne's Associate Professor Alan Duffy says one of the meeting themes will focus on the challenges of astronomy in the petascale data era, addressing the continuing rise of machine learning in analysis of astronomical big data.

"In the era of high speed survey telescopes we now have datasets too large and too complex to explore to their fullest without applying the latest artificial intelligence techniques," Associate Professor Duffy says.

"I am excited to see the research from the dozens of new researchers involved in Australia's latest ARC Centres of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3D (ASTRO3D) and Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) who will drive Australian findings to an international level."

Associate Professor Duffy will present research on the economics of galaxies' growth, which shows that in the first galaxies, the demand for gas to form into stars could not keep pace with the rate of infalling gas.

"The internal gas consumption can't increase fast enough as supply overwhelms demand, in economics terms the galaxy is in 'recession'. It’s only when the Universe expands over billions of years do the rates of material falling into these growing galaxies slow enough to allow the galaxy to find that balance we see today," Associate Professor Duffy says.

New research from Swinburne will also be discussed, such as Igor Andreoni’s talk on "new frontiers in optical fast-transient discovery", Leonie Chevalier's discussion of "the globular cluster system of NGC 4526" and Michelle Cluver's paper on "Cool and Close Encounters of the HI Kind".

You can find the full program here.

Oxygen: Breathing in Stars with Professor Lisa Kewley would be amazing to attend. Check out that description:

Life as we know it requires oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. Yet the universe began with none of these elements. The elements responsible for life were produced in the deep recesses of stars over 13 billion years of cosmic time. How these elements assembled to form the dynamic universe that surrounds us and onto the nurturing planet that we live on are some of nature’s greatest mysteries.

The world's largest telescopes and the most powerful supercomputer simulations of galaxy formation and evolution show that the elements transform the way new stars are born and evolve, the way planets are formed around young stars, the way stars explode and die, and the way stars assemble into new galaxies. We will take a dramatic journey with oxygen throughout the history of the universe from the the Big Bang to the present day.

We will follow the birth and death of stars, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of planets, ending on our own planet earth and the oxygen that we are breathing today.

Ugh, jealous. If you head along, tweet me about it.

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