ANU

Anaemic star carries the mark of its ancient ancestor

Australian-led astronomers find the most iron-poor star in the Galaxy, hinting at the nature of the first stars in the Universe.

A visualisation of the formation of the first stars. Credit: Wise, Abel, Kaehler (KIPAC/SLAC)

A newly discovered ancient star containing a record-low amount of iron carries evidence of a class of even older stars, long hypothesised but assumed to have vanished.

In a paper published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, researchers led by Dr Thomas Nordlander of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) confirm the existence of an ultra-metal-poor red giant star, located in the halo of the Milky Way, on the other side of the Galaxy about 35,000 light-years from Earth.

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Mission design at rocket speed

Planning space missions is traditionally a time-consuming and costly process. But the new Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF), housed at UNSW’s Canberra campus, speeds things up so a mission can be planned in weeks rather than months.

Harnessing the expertise, design processes and software of the French Space Agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), the UNSW team has created Australia’s first concurrent design facility.

The ANCDF allows engineers and scientists—both professionals and students—to design different parts of a mission in parallel rather than one after the other, which is the traditional approach. [continue reading…]

How close are we to quantum computers?

Quantum computers promise ultra-powerful, high speed number crunching. They’ll help us to search vast databases and model biological molecules at an atomic level. They will crack the encryptions we rely on for banking and online security but also help us make new, unbreakable codes.

How close are we to building a quantum computer? Australian scientists are working on it.

Also at the national physics congress today: meet the man in charge of planning and designing the NBNdesigning a cheaper high-precision clock for GPS, astronomy and space tracking; and fighting greenhouse gases and arc-welding fumes with super-heated thermal plasma.

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Australia’s smallest miners; Unlimited energy from fusion and more

At the national physics congress this week:

And from Fresh Science

2010 award ceremony photos

The three L’Oréal Australia For Women In Science Fellows received their awards on Tuesday night at the Melbourne Museum. Here are some photos from the night. All the images are available for use in the context of the L’Oréal Australia For Women In Science Fellowships and should be credited to SDP Photo. To view the […]

2010 Fellows announced

How does breast cancer start? Capturing and releasing gases with smart crystals? Giving malaria a kick in the gut L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellows announced The 2010 L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellows are (click on links to see full citation, videos and photos): Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of […]