Mt. Stromlo Public Astronomy Night

Mount Stromlo Observatory in conjunction with the Canberra Astronomical Society invite the Canberra community to attend our public observing nights of 2018. Come and see the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon, and beautiful star clusters and nebulae. On the night attendees will be taken on a ‘tour of the universe’ with talks by astronomers from Mt. Stromlo Observatory and observations on several telescopes.

A/Prof. François Rigaut is the Adaptive Optics (AO) Principal Scientist at the AAO-Stromlo, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, ANU. He has over 28 years of experience and involvement in various AO systems for astronomy. His experience spans from COME-ON, the first successful AO system for astronomy to, more recently, being principal investigator of GeMS, the first and only astronomical Laser Guide Star Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics system. Dr. Rigaut has also been active on the theory of AO. He proposed the concept of Ground Layer Adaptive Optics, which has resulted in the construction of numerous instruments on some of the largest ground-based telescopes (MMT, VLT, projects for SUBARU, the future Giant Telescopes – EELT and GMT), and a new Fourier space-based approach to estimating AO performance that has spawned a few AO analysis codes (e.g. PAOLA, FAST). 

A/Prof. Celine D'Orgeville joined the ANU RSAA Adaptive Optics (AO) group in 2012 to lead Laser Guide Star (LGS) activities undertaken at the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre. Prior to moving to Australia, Céline worked at the Gemini Observatory where she led the design, fabrication and commissioning of the Gemini North LGS facility in Hawaii (1999-2006), and the Gemini South LGS facility in Chile (2007-2011). The Gemini South AO system, GeMS, is the only Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics facility in the world. The GeMS LGS facility is also unique in creating not just one but five sodium LGS to probe the atmosphere and enable GeMS to restore the diffraction-limit of the Gemini South 8-metre telescope over a 2 arcminute field of view. 

Prof. Naomi McClure-Griffiths is an internationally recognised radio astronomer, the 2006 recipient of the Prime Minister's Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year, and the 2015 winner of the Pawsey Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. Her research has provided insight into the structure and evolution of the Milky Way, and how it interacts with its neighbours. Naomi is playing a leading role in the scientific exploitation of the Australian Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Pathfinder and Australia's participation in the SKA.

Bookings are essential and entry is by gold coin donation. Warm clothing is recommended. The café will also be open to serve food and drink.

In the event of cloudy/bad weather, stargazing will be cancelled (the talks will occur regardless of the weather). You can check out the weather at Mt Stromlo using our all sky camera. We will also post updates on our Facebook page.

2018 Dates: 20 April, 18 May, 15 June, 13 July, 17 August, and 14 September.