6 September 2013
Leading astronomer visits Wellington
A top Australian astronomer will visit Wellington next week to give a public lecture on one of the world’s largest
Professor Steven Tingay from Curtin University in Perth is also Director of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio
telescope project. He will be giving a public talk on Tuesday 10 September, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington,
about the development of the telescope which is located in Western Australia and has recently become fully operational.
The powerful telescope is a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope—a multi-billion dollar global
project that will be the world’s biggest, most sensitive radio telescope, and is anticipated to reveal new information
about the origins of our universe and its 13.7 billion year history.
Professor Tingay will share some of the early science the MWA telescope is producing, and how researchers working on the
MWA are making fundamental contributions to the larger, global Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. He will also
outline some of the science goals it is hoped the SKA project will achieve.
Victoria University is a partner in the Murchison Widefield Array project, involving staff and postgraduate students
from the School of Chemistry and Physical Sciences.
Dr Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, a senior astrophysics lecturer in the School, is the New Zealand Primary Investigator on
the MWA project and Vice-Chair of the MWA Executive Board. She says Professor Tingay’s talk is an excellent opportunity
for people interested in astronomy.
“Steven’s talk will give a glimpse of some of the cutting-edge research taking place through this project in which New
Zealand is a partner, and which has the potential to help us learn an incredible amount about how the universe, galaxies
and our solar system were created.”
Professor Tingay is the Western Australia Premier’s Research Fellow, Director of the Curtin Institute of Radio
Astronomy, Deputy Director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, and Director of the Murchison
Widefield Array project.
He has authored or co-authored over 120 papers in international refereed journals and has attracted over $40m of
research funding over the last decade. His main interests are in radio astronomy and astrophysics. He has been
responsible for the development of instrumentation and software that is now used around the world, and was the Western
Australia Science Ambassador of the Year in 20102 for his efforts to communicate the significance of the MWA project.
Public lecture: Reinventing astronomy with radio telescopes: the Murchison Widefield Array and the Square Kilometre
6.00pm, Tuesday 10 September, Old Government Buildings Lecture Theatre 2
55 Lambton Quay, Wellington
To attend, rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org
or 04-463 6517 by Monday 9 September.