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The ASNSW holds meetings in most months, on Friday evenings nearest Full Moon. The meetings will have a guest speaker who is a professional astronomer or other qualified specialist, discussing leading-edge developments in astronomy or members may offer presentations of a varied nature (general interest or recent activities). Each year, the Annual General Meeting is held in August. The Astroimaging Section meets separately, with meeting information on the Astroimaging & Committee Meetings page. MEETINGS ARE CURRENTLY BEING HELD ONLINE USING ZOOM.

Notes to guest speakers: Our meeting hall is equipped with a data projector (VGA and HDMI connections available), loudspeakers and projection screen. In line with our Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy, we have to stipulate that your presentation should not include any content that may cause offence to anyone in the audience. Details of the policy are available on our website here:


List of Past Speakers

Forthcoming Meetings
  | February 2020 | March 2020 | May 2020 | June 2020 | July 2020 | August 2020 | September 2020 | October 2020 | November 2020 |

Friday 28th February 2020 - 7:30pm

Topic: Wide-Field Astroimaging for Beginners
Speaker: Kym Haines
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: It is easy to get started with astroimaging with a DSLR (digital SLR camera) on a tripod; and more can be done with a DSLR on an existing telescope.
Biography: tba

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Friday 7th August 2020 - 7:30pm
Topic: Annual General Meeting
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Presentation of reports and awards, election of committee

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Friday 25th September 2020 - 7:30pm
Topic: What do galaxies and shadow puppets have in common?
Speaker: Dr Jesse van de Sande | ARC DECRA Fellow 
Venue: Online meeting using ZOOM
Abstract: Galaxies come in all shapes and sizes. It is hard not to be impressed by the majestic variety in galaxy morphology that the Universe has to offer. Besides creating just pretty images, galaxy shape and morphology also provide important clues on how galaxies formed and evolved. Large computer simulations suggest that collisions between galaxies alter their appearance. The more interactions a galaxy experiences, the rounder it becomes. However, galaxies are so far away that we can only observe them as two-dimensional projections on the celestial sphere. Figuring out the true shape of galaxies is a bit like shadow puppetry without instructions; ever tried twisting your arms and fingers to create the image of an African Unladen Swallow? So, how do astronomers derive the true three-dimensional shape of galaxies? In this talk I will explain how Australian Astronomers have invented an instrument that can do exactly that. These tools now allow us to figure out how galaxies like our Milky Way have formed and evolve

Biography: Jesse van de Sande is a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney studying how galaxies form and evolve. He tries to solve the big questions such as ‘How was the Milky Way Galaxy formed?’ and ‘What will happen to our Milky Way after it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy?’ Jesse uses the Anglo Australian Telescope with an instrument called SAMI to study the motions of stars within galaxies. For his PhD thesis, he used the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescopes in Chilli to investigate the formation and evolution of massive galaxies in the early Universe.

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Friday 23rd October 2020 - 7:30pm
Topic: Searching for ripples in the cosmic Niagara Falls: Cataclysmic Variable Stars
Speaker: Ian Kemp (ICRAR, ASNSW)
Venue: Online meeting using ZOOM
Abstract: This talk is about “UGSU cataclysmic variables” - one of the most interesting species in the variable star zoo (in my opinion). They’re actually not variable stars at all, because they are binary systems, in which a red star spills material onto a white dwarf, giving rise to periodic massive eruptions which can brighten the star from mag 15 to mag 9, easily within the range of a backyard telescope. They are very important systems in astronomy, because they are the precursors of the type 1a supernovae, which are used to measure the Hubble-Lemaître constant, and the accelerating expansion of the universe. The light curves of these systems are very interesting - they show ‘wobbles’ which reveal a lot of what’s going on in the binary system and the accretion disk. Last year, I observed a southern sky system called VW Hyi, which was first characterised by astronomers from New Zealand and Australia. In addition to the ‘usual’ variations - known as ’superhumps’, I found hints of a different type of variation, but the data were not conclusive enough to confirm it. So this year, with some partners in crime, I’m collecting and analysing data on a number of similar systems to look for extra detail in the light curves of these interesting systems. If you are inspired by this talk you can join the hunt!
Biography: Ian Kemp started his professional life in academic research - with a degree, PhD and postdoc in Materials Science. He then went off to work in Industry and government for a while (25 years) before getting back to research and obtaining a Masters degree in Astronomy. He currently works as a research scientist at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth - working partly on ‘big data’ (i.e., extremely big, massive data) and partly on astrophysics research.

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Friday 20th November 2020 - 7:30pm
Topic: tba
Speaker: tba
Venue: Online meeting using ZOOM
Abstract: tba
Biography: tba

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