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International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

In this issue:

New Staff  
MWA Industry Partnership 
Astrofest is coming!
Imaging the Interstellar Medium
Observing the early Universe
Recent workshops and events
Astronomer Interview: Dr Minh Huynh
National SKA News:
ASKAP on ABC1's Catalyst
Prime Ministers Praise SKA Bid
Spectrum managementin the MRO
International SKA News
News from the SPDO 
ICRAR Education Update:
Education Across the Nation 
Australia Day Achievement
Jodcast 100th Episode
Discover SKA


ICRAR welcomes new staff

ICRAR has gained new staff members since the last edition of our eNewsletter. We wish them all a warm welcome to ICRAR.

  • Tom Booler, MWA Project Manager
  • Brian Crosse, MWA Commissioning Engineer
  • Prof Simon Driver, Winthrop Research Professor
  • Dr John Flexman, Research Officer
  • Leanne Goodsell, Admin Assistant
  • Tanya Jones, Admin Coordinator
  • Dr Budi Juswardy, Research Engineer
  • Dr Steve Ord, Project Manager Transient Science
  • Dave Pallot, Data Archive Specialist
  • Dr Chris Power, Research Associate Professor
  • Dr Robert Soria, Research Fellow (Multiwavelength)

MWA partnership puts local industry on the map

ImageScientists and industry seek the first stars and galaxies.
ICRAR has taken delivery from Poseidon Scientific Instruments in Fremantle of a production-ready receiver for the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). 

Astrofest 2011 is coming!

ImageThis Saturday the 12th of March will see all things astronomy descend on Curtin Stadium in Perth for Astrofest.  Starting at 5pm, participants will have the opportunity to meet with local astronomers and scientists as well as experience an Astrophotography exhibition featuring the work of WA astrophotographers and artists. Pre-register to come to Astrofest online and you could win a SkyScout or a telescope!

Imaging the Interstellar Medium

The result of isolating the unique radiation The nature of the Interstellar Medium has long been a focus for astronomers and scientists. Recent innovation in techniques to image the material occupying the space between stars might be the key to understanding the mechanisms that drive stellar formation and the evolution of galaxies.

MRO experiment opens new window to the early Universe

The EDGES instrument in the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).  Credit: Judd Bowman.Thirteen billion years ago our universe was dark. There weren't stars or galaxies; only hydrogen gas left over after the Big Bang. Eventually the first stars ignited and their radiation transformed the nearby gas atoms into ions. This phase of the universe’s history is called the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), and it has never before been observed. 

Recent Workshops and Events at ICRARAstroinformatics Participants

February saw Australian and international astronomers and students flocking to ICRAR and Perth for a host of conferences and schools.  ICRAR hosted the fourth HI Pathfinder workshop, the biannual Astroinformatics School and the fifth ANITA workshop. 

Researcher Interview: Dr Minh Huynh

Dr Minh HuynhDr Minh Huynh is the Deputy International SKA Project Scientist, acting as the interface between scientists and engineers for the SKA project.  Read about what she believes will be the significant outcomes from the SKA and why she enjoys being an astronomer with ICRAR.

National SKA News

ASKAP features on the ABC's Catalyst

Credit: Courtesy of the Department of Commerce, Western AustraliaA recent episode of ABC TV's Catalyst featured ASKAP and the SKA. ICRAR Director Professor Peter Quinn was interviewed about the capabilities of the SKA and the leap forward it will provide.

Australia and New Zealand Prime Ministers Praise Joint SKA Bid

Credit: CSIRODuring recent talks in New Zealand, Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and John Key praised the Australia-New Zealand joint bid to host the SKA and reaffirmed the strong ties between both countires.  

Spectrum management in the Mid West Radio-Quiet Zone

The MROAn effective radio spectrum management regime affirms strong support for the Australian and New Zealand SKA bid.  Commonwealth and Western Australian Government officials met on the 2nd of December to discuss spectrum management in the Mid West Radio-Quiet Zone  

anzSKA newsletter

The March edition of the anzSKA newsletter will soon be available from the anzSKA website

International SKA News

News from the SKA Program Development Office (SPDO) including:

  • New Appointments
  • SKA Management Update
  • SKA Outreach Update 
  • Japan: SKA-Japan Workshop
  • China: The annual summar meeting of JLRAT

ICRAR Education Update

Education Across the Nation with the ACS

Kevin VinsenICRAR ICT expert Kevin Vinsen has been travelling all around Australia for the Australian Computer Society's 'Education Across the Nation' program.  Kevin has been talking to ICT professionals about the SKA and the Information and Communication Technology challenges it faces in his talk 'Space - there's a lot of data out there!'  

ICRAR Recognised in Australia Day Achievement Awards

Australia Day Achievement Medallion RecipientsAs part of recent Australia Day celebrations, ICRAR Outreach and Education Manager Pete Wheeler was awarded an Australia Day Team Achievement Medallion for his contribution to the Australia/New Zealand bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project. 

The Jodcast Celebrates 100 episodes

Dr Megan Argo Credit: Shaun Amy.In her past life ICRAR astronomer and outreacher Dr Megan Argo worked at Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, where she became involved in The Jodcast - an astronomy based podcast.  Regular listeners will recognise Megan's voice rounding up the astronomy news for every edition. As The Jodcast celebrated their 100th episode, they interviewed Dr Argo about her day job in astronomy.   Read about or listen to the 100th episode.

Discover SKA

We want to get the SKA message out to as many people in Australia as possible – and we need your help.  Discover SKA is a national outreach program across Australia and New Zealand to raise awareness of the SKA and our bid to host it. 

You can be part of this national initiative simply by hosting a Discover SKA event or activity in April-June 2011. Your event will be supported by a suite of promotional and audiovisual materials, and there is the opportunity for your event to be highlighted in national media coverage. 

If you have an astronomy related event planned for the April-June period that could help spread the SKA message, send an email to Annie Harris, the Discover SKA Coordinator at AHarris@questacon.edu.au.  More details about events in all areas will be coming soon!

For more astronomy news visit the Astronomy WA website

Astronomy WA

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7 Fairway, Crawley WA 6009
(+61 8) 6488 7766
ICRAR Curtin
1 Turner Avenue, Bentley WA 6102
(+61 8) 9266 9899
The University of Western Australia Curtin University

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