SKA project hot topic as Scientist in Residence comes to Christ Church
Students and members of the wider community had an opportunity to hear from speakers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy (ICRAR) about the Square Kilometre Array project and other exciting concepts in astronomy and astrophysics this week.
A free evening talk was part of the School’s Scientist in Residence initiative – funded by the Christ Church Parents’ Association. ICRAR’s Pete Wheeler discussed radio astronomy and outback WA’s potential involvement in the SKA experiment, which will help scientists around the world unlock some of the biggest mysteries in the universe.
ICRAR PhD candidate Mehmet Alpalan, the School’s Scientist in Residence for the year, presented on what astronomers do – from hunting for planets around nearby stars to launching balloons into the atmosphere above Antarctica to measure the age of the Universe. His talk focused on his research field of optical astronomy.
Mehmet, who exchanged the frosty shores of Scotland for the sun-drenched shores of Perth to work for ICRAR, also led a series of lectures on astronomy and cosmology with Year 10 and 11 physics students this week. These were the first in a series of sessions to be run by Mehmet during the year.
Practical activities, such as using a portable radio telescope to work out the temperature of the sun and using information to help calculate the mass of a galaxy, will be held at later date. A night sky observing event is also planned for students and families for later in the year.
On Tuesday 3 April, Christ Church will take 15 boys to UWA to participate in a national video conference with the Chief of NASA.