The Astronomical Tourist
Date: Wednesday, 3 April, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Venue: Kerr Grant Theatre
Free - visitors welcome!
To the ancient astronomers, the Universe was very simple - it contained the Sun, the Moon, five planets and the stars. Today, astronomers study a Universe with billions of galaxies, which is filled with bizarre objects like pulsars, quasars and black holes. These advances in understanding do not happen by accident: they are the work of many thousands of individuals, both known and unknown, from cultures all over the world. While most of us will never get to directly explore the solar system and beyond, there are many Earth-based tourist destinations you can visit that put you in touch with the people who made some of the most profound discoveries about the Universe.
Join Dr Christopher Fluke from Swinburne University's Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing as he takes you on a personal journey through nearly 5000 years of the history of astronomy, and shows you how easy it is to visit many of these historical locations without leaving your home!
Dr Christopher Fluke is an astronomer with the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology. He completed his PhD with the astronomy group at the University of Melbourne in 1999, with a thesis titled "Who is Ray Bundle and What Does He Know About the Universe?" Soon afterwards, Dr Fluke joined Swinburne University, at a time when the astronomy group comprised only 2.5 staff and a handful of students. Today, the Centre hosts nearly 70 research staff and students, and is one of Australia's largest and most successful astronomy research groups.
Dr Fluke's main research interests are in gravitational lensing, astronomy visualization, and advanced computation, with an emphasis on the adoption of graphics processing units to accelerate the rate of astronomical discovery. However, one of his real passions is getting the public involved and interested in astronomy. Dr Fluke is an experienced science communicator, who speaks regularly to school groups and the public about astronomy. He coordinates the 3D AstroTour school program at Swinburne, teaches an online subject on the History of Astronomy for Swinburne Astronomy Online, and was the voice of the Big Bang in "Void Love" - an online soap opera about space featuring Australian entertainer Kamahl!
He helped to establish Swinburne's animation production group, working on short 3D stereo movies about astronomy that have been shown in 3D theatres at universities, museums and observatory visitor centres both nationally and internationally.
Click here to download printable flyer.