The history of space exploration in Australia: From 60,000 years ago to today and into the future


As part of ANU Reconciliation Week, join Nobel Laureate and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian P. Schmidt, ANU astronomer Dr Brad Tucker and Indigenous Masters student, Karlie Noon, for an evening of space history in Australia. Exploring the Universe from 60,000 years ago to today and into the future, join our speakers for an interactive discussion on the Universe.

Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC is Vice-Chancellor and President of ANU and winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Professor Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona in 1989, and completed his Astronomy Master's degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. Under his leadership, in 1998, the High-Z Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Dr Brad Tucker is an Astrophysicist/Cosmologist, and currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory 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.

Karlie Noon is a proud Kamilaroi lady and the first Indigenous person on the East coast of Australia to attain degrees in mathematics and physics. She is currently studying a joint Masters of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Advanced) with CSIRO's Astronomy and Space Science and the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. She has 6 years' experience in science communication, particularly with students from a low SES and Indigenous background. In addition to her Master's program, she is doing research into weather predictions used by Indigenous Australians and is interested in sharing Indigenous astronomy with the general public. She has a passion for making STEM accessible to people of all different backgrounds.