WA

Closing in on the first light in the Universe

Research using new antennas in the Australian hinterland has reduced background noise and brought us closer to finding a 13-billion-year-old signal

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The early Universe was dark, filled with a hot soup of opaque particles. These condensed to form neutral hydrogen which coalesced to form the first stars in what astronomers call the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR).

“Finding the weak signal of this first light will help us understand how the early stars and galaxies formed,” says Dr Christene Lynch from ASTRO 3D, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.

Dr Lynch is first author on a paper published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. She and her colleagues from Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research have reduced the background noise in their observations allowing them to home in on the elusive signal.

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National Science Week Explodes in August!

Media release from the National Science Week WA Co-ordinating Committee

National Science Week returns from 10 – 18 August, to reveal spectacular and breathtaking discoveries of science and technology through more than 1,000 events across Australia, 240 of which will be in Western Australia.

For Western Australians, the week will launch with the spectacular Moonboorli (Beyond), a free youth-focused event and gathering place for culture, ideas, knowledge and storytelling, presented by Propel Youth Arts WA at the State Library of Western Australia on Saturday 10 August.

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Go Moonboorli (Beyond) for National Science Week

Media release from the National Science Week WA Co-ordinating Committee

Celebrating the launch of National Science Week in 2019, Moonboorli (Beyond) is a special free event and gathering place for culture, ideas, knowledge and storytelling, presented by Propel Youth Arts WA at the State Library of Western Australia on Saturday 10 August.

Special guest Andrea Boyd will be sharing her experience as the only Australian International Space Station Flight Controller at the European Space Centre in Cologne, and her recent involvement in helping to create the new Australian Space Agency. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony and later in the day at a key-note presentation, this is her only appearance for National Science Week in WA.

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Crocodile eggs measure river health

A new land management tool using Aboriginal knowledge

Ngan’gi speakers know it’s time to look for freshwater crocodile eggs when the red kapok trees near the Northern Territory’s Daly River burst into flower.

This can occur at a different time each year, but the environmental link is solid.

A Darwin-based scientist has converted this link and other intimate Aboriginal knowledge of Australia’s landscape into an environmental management tool. [continue reading…]

Looking for life, dark energy and the beginning of time

Australian physicists welcome $2 billion win for science

Southern Africa, Australia and NZ are to share the Square Kilometre Array – a giant radio telescope that will consist of thousands of separate radio dishes and other antennae spread across an area the size of a continent.

Australian Institute of Physics President, Dr Marc Duldig, today welcomed the decision to share the SKA telescope between the competing bids. [continue reading…]

Risking cancer to avoid nano-sunscreen and heads-up on SKA and World TB Day

Welcome back – this is my first 2012 bulletin for journalists interested in science.

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Australians risking skin cancer to avoid nanoparticles

And yet the latest research reported in Perth this week suggests they have little to fear from ‘nano-sunscreens’.

Posted on behalf of ICONN 2012: Australia’s International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

More than three in five Australians are concerned enough about the health implications of nanoparticles in sunscreens to want to know more about their impact. And while the initial scientific information released suggests little cause for alarm, it does justify the community’s confusion.

That’s the message that emerges from a survey and three research papers on nanoparticles in sunscreens presented at the 2012 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN) in Perth this week. [continue reading…]