The Victorian Astronomy Convention, VASTROC, is a biennial conference for all amateur Astronomers in Victoria. It is hosted in odd years by the different astronomical societies around the State.
MPAS is excited once again to be hosting VASTROC, with 2019 being the 17th since its inception.
The next is set for the weekend of August 10th 2019, aligning with the 50th Anniversary year of MPAS and National Science Week.
It will be held at the regional Briars Astronomical Observatory and surrounding facilities in Mount Martha.
This event will be open not only to members of astronomy groups, but also to other community groups with common interests and, indeed, to all members of the public with a fascination about the Universe. This year MPAS's successful Astrophotography Workshop will be run in conjunction with this event.
The convention will contain workshops, talks, displays and interactive forums in a social atmosphere.
Its broad theme will be the Moon (with recent 50 year anniversary of the Moon landing), and all things Apollo will be encouraged and celebrated.
Please note : This itinerary is subject to change.
The ticket price includes;
- Dormitory accommodation Friday & Sat night (limited to first 50 that would like it),
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Saturday,
- APW Talks, Telescope Viewing
- Guided Bushwalk for Wildlife Photography.
Friday - August 9th
|7PM||BBQ Dinner or Josephine's (Restaurant not included in entry)|
|8PM||Telescope Viewing / Trivia / Open Forum|
Saturday - August 10th
|Don Leggett Astronomical Centre||The Briars Camp|
|9AM||Guided nature walk at the Briars - Wildlife photography|
|10.30AM||Welcome Introduction to VASTROC 2019|
|11AM||Antarctica Presentation (Anders Hamilton)||Peter Lowe
(Topic & abstract TBA)
|1PM||Introduction to Astrophotography (Jamie Pole)||Ken Harrison
|2PM||Aurora Photography (Alex Cherney)||Ian Sullivan
(Topic & abstract TBA)
|3PM||Time Lapse Photography (Greg Walton)||(a) Clint Jeffrey : Radio Astronomy
(b) Dr Russell Cockman : Solar & IDA
|4PM||Deep Sky Photography (Paul Albers)||Peter Norman
Dark Matter & Dark Energy (see abstract below)
|5PM||Vendors Stall, Briars Observatory Tour, Group Photo|
|6PM||Dinner (Included / BYO alcoholic drinks)|
|7PM||Keynote Speaker - Dr Brad Tucker
The Universe and the Future of Space (see abstract below)
|8PM||Astrophotography Field Practice / Telescope Viewing||Trivia / Open Forum / Social|
Talks range from 25-40 mins with a break between talks (or Q&A).
Sunday - August 11th
|9AM||Nature walk at the Briars - Wildlife photography|
|10.30AM||Pack-up & Clean Up|
MPAS will be at Coolart for 'Science in the Park'
Onsite accommodation available Friday & Sat Nights. BYO Pillow & Blanket.
Sat & Sunday mornings toast & coffee will be available.
See you there.
Peter Norman : Astronomical Discoveries and Theories of Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Since 1922 it has been realized that both stars in galaxies and galaxies in galaxy super-clusters revolve around their central black holes at velocities faster than predicted by Newton's gravity law.
This was explained as being due to an as yet unidentified very heavy collection of. "Dark Matter" wrapped as a halo surrounding each galaxy and each galaxy super-cluster.
At first it was thought that this Dark Matter would be normal Massive Condensed Halo Object or MACHO. However, after thousands of telescopic searches for many different normal objects not enough have been found!?
So now the search is on in deep underground labs for Weakly Interacting Massive ParticleS or WIMPS Since 1990 other astronomers claim to have found evidence that the expansion of the universe has been accelerating for the last 6 billion years due to the repulsive negative gravitational "Dark Energy".
There are many theories explaining this mystery but the simplest is to assume that it was an initial part of creation called the "Cosmological Constant".
At present all modern Dream Time Stories or Cosmologies assume the existence of both Cold Dark Matter and the Cosmological Constant.
Brad Tucker : The Universe and the Future of Space
In the past few decades, rapid progress in technology has led to a complete change in our view of the Universe. In the next few decades, this will change even more as we become an inter-planetary species. Dr Brad Tucker will talk about some of these discoveries, from planets around other stars, to exploring the Universe and maybe even visiting other planets, and show we are now turning science fiction into reality.
Dr Brad Tuckeris an Astrophysicist/Cosmologist, and currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory and the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at ANU. Brad received Bachelor's degrees in Physics, Philosophy, and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He then undertook a PhD at Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University. He is currently working on projects trying to discover the true nature of dark energy, the mysterious substance causing the accelerating expansion of the Universe, which makes up 70% of the Universe. He's one of the leads of the Kepler Extra-Galactic Survey, a Kepler Space Telescope Key Program, to understand why and how stars blow up. He is also leading a project to build a network of ultraviolet telescopes in the upper atmosphere, which are being built at Mt. Stromlo, a search to find Planet 9 - a hypothetical new planet on the edges of our Solar System, as well as a new mission to capture and mine an asteroid.