With Talks From:

Simon Ellingsen: Head of Discipline (Physics), College of Sciences and Engineering, University of Tasmania

"The Origin of the Moon" The Earth’s moon is very different from the moons of the other planets in our solar system. What can that tell us about how the solar system formed and what impact does the Moon have on life on Earth? The University of Tasmania telescopes have been involved in an international collaboration to measure the gravitational field of the Moon. This talk will show what has been found and how that fits with current theories of the formation of the Moon.

Steven M Smith: Professor of Plant Genetics and Biochemistry, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania

“Can we really grow plants on the Moon or Mars?” There are now ambitious plans to establish permanent stations on the Moon and Mars. The recent ‘sci-fi’ film ‘The Martian’ showed astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) growing potatoes on Mars for food. Can we really grow plants on the Moon or Mars?

Stefan Dieters – University of Tasmania; Fields of Galactic and Stellar Astronomy 
“Observing the Moon”

So what exactly are the phases of the moon? Do you need a telescope to see anything interesting? From naked eye viewing through to small telescopes, Stefan will take us through some of the main geological and historical features, plus some fun things to look out for on our nearest neighbour. 

Shanna Rudov-Clarke: Aerospace Engineer and Published Children's Author

"What is Aerospace Engineering?"

Ever wondered what an aerospace engineer does? What the industry is like and what kinds of skills you need? With over two decades of experience in the field, Dr Shanna Rudov-Clark will share her experiences and answer questions about this exciting profession.

Jules Harnett - Radio Astronomer

Readings from her new autobiography.

Published this year, “Diamond Dust” follows Jules’s journey from a small poultry farm in Penguin, Northwest Tasmania, to managing the Harvard Smithsonian Telescope in Antarctica. All the failures, successes and trials in life that knock us down but somehow, we find the strength to get back up again.

Payton Rodman: UTAS PhD Student specialising in the field of Super Massive Black Holes

"Sorry For the Dumb Question: The first image of a black hole?".

The way we see black holes was quite literally changed with the release of the now famous image on the 10th of April, 2019. But how can you take a picture of something that emits no light? And how did the team of scientists manage to do it? When it comes to the first ever image of a black hole, there are no dumb questions.

Martin George – Manager of QVMAG’s Launceston Planetarium and Radio Personality

“Apollo 11”

On 21 July 1969 (Australian time), the world watched as Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ('Buzz') Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon.  Over the following two and a half years, there were five more successful landings, ending with Apollo 17 in December 1972.  It was a thrilling time but mixed in with the excitement was a moment of tragedy, a near-disaster, and several astronauts becoming unpopular by being a little naughty!  



The first crewed landing was the best part of a decade in the making, and was without doubt a race to be the first.  Two different series of flights called Mercury and Gemini were necessary as a prelude to the Apollo program, several of which carried astronauts whose names were to become more well known as they made trips to our satellite.

Martin will present an overall picture of the Apollo program and its lead-up activities, reflecting also on his own memories of that great period.   


50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing Special

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This project received grant funding from the Australian Government