New type of massive explosion explains mystery star

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

‘Magneto-rotational hypernova’ soon after the Big Bang fuelled high levels of uranium, zinc in ancient stellar oddity

A massive explosion from a previously unknown source – 10 times more energetic than a supernova – could be the answer to a 13-billion-year-old Milky Way mystery.

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Where does it hurt, Rover?

Media releases, Micro-X

Adelaide invention revolutionises veterinary x-rays

Your best friend can’t tell you where it hurts but now, thanks to an invention by Adelaide company Micro-X, vets have a better tool to diagnose your pet’s health problems.

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Bend it like Einstein: Astronomers turn galaxies into magnifiers

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

New technique helps NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

Astronomers have turned a cluster of galaxies into a gargantuan magnifying lens, using it to study another galaxy, 10.7 billion light years away, in unprecedented detail.

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Dying Moorabool River needs big drinks of water

Media releases

Issued on behalf of the People for a Living Moorabool

Farmers, conservationists, and others available for interview + photos and HD overlay

Film premiere on Saturday 26 June in Ballarat

A cleared and desiccated stretch of the east branch of the Moorabool River
Credit: People for A Living Moorabool

“The Moorabool River will continue to deteriorate and die unless we give back some of its water,” says Cameron Steele, coordinator of river protection group, People for A Living Moorabool.

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Milky Way not unusual, astronomers find

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

Detailed cross-section of another galaxy reveals surprising similarities to our home

The first detailed cross-section of a galaxy broadly similar to the Milky Way, published today, reveals that our galaxy evolved gradually, instead of being the result of a violent mash-up. The finding throws the origin story of our home into doubt.

The galaxy, dubbed UGC 10738, turns out to have distinct ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ discs similar to those of the Milky Way. This suggests, contrary to previous theories, that such structures are not the result of a rare long-ago collision with a smaller galaxy. They appear to be the product of more peaceful change.

And that is a game-changer. It means that our spiral galaxy home isn’t the product of a freak accident. Instead, it is typical.

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Innovation Award for ADF’s new mobile medical X-ray

Media releases, Micro-X

Using unique carbon nanotube technology, hospital grade X-ray imaging now available for field hospitals and humanitarian missions

Adelaide company Micro-X (ASX: MX1) has won the Land Forces 2021 National Innovation Award for inventing and manufacturing Rover, a lightweight go-anywhere X-ray machine ruggedised and optimised for high intensity use in field hospitals and remote locations.

Military doctors aim to provide combat soldiers who go in harm’s way with no less a standard of medical care than they can expect at home. However, conventional, hospital-grade mobile x-ray machines are heavy (typically 400 to 600kg), power hungry and very hard to move around on uneven surfaces.

So, prior to the Rover’s development, only small-animal veterinary x-rays units were light enough to be deployed by military forces.

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Indigenous health, shark gonads, blind books, and future food: it’s National Science Week!

National Science Week

This year’s festival runs 14 to 22 August with thousands of events around Australia.

Entertainment, business, environment, food and wine, Indigenous, the Arts, health, sport, technology, farming and agriculture, lifestyle, education, and disability media …

EVERY round can find a story in this year’s National Science Week.

National Science Week 2021 runs from 14 to 24 August. Here are some of the early top picks:

Future-proofing food
How are we going to feed 10 billion people on a planet hit by climate change? Ask one of the hundreds of Australian scientists working on solutions. For instance:

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Free telescopes for Launceston, Exeter and Ulverstone schools, April 29 and 30

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D)

Sky-gazers visit the region to get kids dancing with the STARS

Astronomers, students and telescopes available for photographs. Key dates and locations:

April 29, morning: Riverside High School, 354 West Tamar Road, Launceston; Jay Duggan: 03 6327 6333
April 29, afternoon: Exeter High School, 28 Glen Ard Mohr Road, Exeter; Greg Finnigan: 03 6394 4366

April 30, morning and afternoon: Ulverstone Secondary College, 38 Leven St, Ulverstone; Kylie Waters: 03 6425 1433; 0400 126 282

Three schools in Launceston, Exeter and Ulverstone will be visited by astronomers, who will present them with powerful telescopes and show eager students how to use them to unlock the secrets of the stars.

Dr Brad Tucker, from the Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3D (ASTRO 3D) and the Australian National University, together with Mr Peter Swanton, also from ANU, will give the telescopes to Riverside, Exeter and Ulverstone high schools on April 29 and 30.

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More than 60 years to achieve gender equity?

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

Modelling shows urgent need to revamp hiring and working conditions for astronomers

It will take until at least 2080 before women make up just one-third of Australia’s professional astronomers, an analysis published today in the journal Nature Astronomy reveals.

“Astronomers have been leaders in gender equity initiatives, but our programs are not working fast enough,” says Professor Lisa Kewley, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D).

Professor Lisa Kewley.
Credit: ASTRO 3D

Kewley is also an ARC Laureate Fellow at the Australian National University’s Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics. She developed workforce forward modelling that can predict the fraction of women at all levels in astronomy from 2021 to 2060, given different initiatives in hiring or retention. The models show that Australia’s university leadership need to adopt 50:50 or affirmative action hiring and introduce exit surveys and retention initiatives.

“With these initiatives we can reach one-third women in 11 years, growing to 50 per cent in 25,” she said.

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Can we guarantee supply of essential drugs in a global crisis?

Boron, Media releases

Flow chemistry trial will test new way to make drugs locally and fast

Australia may soon be able to produce essential drugs – including anaesthetics and treatments for antibiotic resistant superbugs – rapidly and entirely onshore, ending the need to import them.

A collaboration between Melbourne chemical company Boron Molecular and DMTC Ltd (formerly the Defence Materials Technology Centre) is testing a new system capable of synthesising drugs at scale, quickly and continuously.

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Dr Josh Boyle from Boron Molecular working with a flow reactor