Media releases

Free telescopes set school kids dancing with the STARS

Astronomers head to the country to spark student interest in what lies above.

ANU astronomer Brad Tucker showing students from Rockhampton High School how to use their powerful new telescope. Credit: ANU Media

Children in remote and regional schools will soon be visited by astronomers bearing gifts in a quest to kindle interest in the cosmos.

The scientists – drawn from the ranks of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3D (ASTRO 3D) and the Australian National University – will donate a powerful telescope and high-tech accessories to each school so classes can continue to explore the Universe long after the astronomers have left.

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Orbits of ancient stars prompt rethink on Milky Way evolution

Australian telescopes and European satellite combine to reveal unexpected motions among the Galaxy’s rarest objects

Theories on how the Milky Way formed are set to be rewritten following discoveries about the behaviour of some of its oldest stars.

An investigation into the orbits of the Galaxy’s metal-poor stars – assumed to be among the most ancient in existence – has found that some of them travel in previously unpredicted patterns.

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Playing detective on a galactic scale: huge new dataset will solve multiple Milky Way mysteries

Australian-led GALAH project releases chemical information for 600,000 stars.

How do stars destroy lithium? Was a drastic change in the shape of the Milky Way caused by the sudden arrival of millions of stellar stowaways?

These are just a couple of the astronomical questions likely to be answered following the release today of ‘GALAH DR3’, the largest set of stellar chemical data ever compiled.

The data, comprising more than 500 GB of information gleaned from more than 30 million individual measurements, was gathered by astronomers including Sven Buder, Sarah Martell and Sanjib Sharma from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) using the Anglo Australian Telescope (AAT) at the Australian Astronomical Observatory at Siding Spring in rural New South Wales.

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Blinded by the light no more: simulations show NASA’s James Webb Telescope will reveal hidden galaxies

Australian researchers find ways to overcome the blinding glare of quasars

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will uncover galaxies never before seen by humanity, Australian-led research reveals.

The telescope, due to launch in late 2021, is the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built.

Two new studies led by Madeline Marshall from Australia’s University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) find that the Webb will be able to reveal galaxies currently masked by powerful lights called quasars.

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Filmmaker becomes co-author on paper published in top international journal, ‘Science’

Written and issued by Genepool

In an unusual turn of events, Melbourne based filmmaker Sonya Pemberton has become a co-author on a paper that has just been published in the top international journal Science.

The paper, ‘Global citizen deliberation on genome editing’ is calling for the creation of a global “citizens’ assembly”, made up of ordinary people who are tasked with considering the ethical and social impacts of this emerging science, in humans, animals and plants. The idea was born out of a film-research trip Sonya undertook almost two years ago.

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Why plumbers and teachers should have a say on designer babies and genetically enhanced potatoes


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Genepool release – Filmmaker becomes co-author on paper published in top international journal, ‘Science’,
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– Media release below

Ethical and social implications of powerful DNA-altering technology are too important to be left to scientists and politicians, researchers find.

Illustration by Alice Mollon

Designer babies, mutant mozzies and frankenfoods: these are the images that often spring to mind when people think of genome editing.

The practice – which alters an organism’s DNA in ways that could be inherited by subsequent generations – is both more complex and less dramatic than the popular tropes suggest.

However, its implications are so profound that a growing group of experts believe it is too important a matter to be left only to scientists, doctors and politicians.

Writing in the journal Science, 25 leading researchers from across the globe call for the creation of national and global “citizens’ assemblies”, made up of lay-people, tasked with considering the ethical and social impacts of this emerging science.

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Elements of surprise: neutron stars contribute little, but something’s making gold, research finds

Colliding neutron stars were touted as the main source of some of the heaviest elements in the Periodic Table. Now, not so much

Neutron star collisions do not create the quantity of chemical elements previously assumed, a new analysis of galaxy evolution finds.

The research also reveals that current models can’t explain the amount of gold in the cosmos – creating an astronomical mystery.

The work has produced a new-look Periodic Table, showing the stellar origins of naturally occurring elements from carbon to uranium.

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Thousands pledge to tackle global warming through individual actions

National Carbon Counter project proves a hit as individuals, families and schools pledge to lower emissions.

Media release: 25 August, 2020

More than 11,000 people have signed up to Carbon Counter, the countrywide challenge produced by the ABC Science Unit for National Science Week.

The challenge shows families, individuals and schools how to reduce their contributions to global warming by making simple and easy changes to everyday routines.

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Fossil fight, wildlife under fire, and the astro-origins of your smartphone

Sunday 23 August 2020

Highlights from the FINAL DAY of National Science Week

62 events, 202 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • National: Lifehacks to cut your carbon and your fuel bills
  • National: Discover new species, map wildlife, track the effects of climate change
  • ACT: Find out what robot makers, illustrators and Indigenous storytellers have in common
  • SA: Giant wombats versus ichthyosaurs: which would win? Adelaide palaeontologists fight over which is the best fossil
  • SA: Forget the Telstra shop. Your smartphone came from the stars. Find out how.
  • VIC: 76 women in science at sea: catch up with Ili Baré’s compelling documentary, The Leadership
  • VIC: Possible Impossibles: what’s next for the human species?
  • WA: Sign me up!—four scientists and an Auslan interpreter in Bunbury
  • Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

Also today:

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: www.scienceweek.net.au.

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Dancing with stick insects, healing nature, and what’s in your sourdough?

Saturday 22 August 2020

Highlights from day eight of National Science Week

115 events, 235 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • National: Discover storms on Jupiter in a virtual reality tour of the solar system
  • National: Discover new species, map wildlife, track the effects of climate change
  • NSW: Fit or fat? How your postcode affects your health
  • NSW: ID a frog and meet a radioecologist on the Sydney Science Trail
  • VIC: How is nature good for your health and wellbeing?
  • VIC: Phasmid of the opera: performances featuring music, dance and a stick insect
  • TAS: What microbes are growing in your sourdough?
  • TAS: Make a canoe and hear about local Aboriginal engineering and navigation

Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

Also today:

Coming up:

Fossil fight, wildlife under fire, and the astro-origins of your smartphone – see a preview of Sunday’s highlights.

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: www.scienceweek.net.au.

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