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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

The 2013 Allison-Levick Memorial Talk, 5 December 2013

November 2013

Joss Bland-Hawthorn
An artist's conception of a black hole.
Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn (University of Sydney)
Photo: Chris Walsh, Patrick Jones Photographic Studio
An artist's conception of a black hole generating a jet. (Image: NASA/Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital)

Black hole behaving badly: our Galaxy's violent past

Thursday 5 December 2013
6 pm for a 6:30 pm start
1 hour
CSIRO Discovery Centre, Black Mountain, Canberra (tel 02 6246 4646). Location and parking information.
Free, but bookings are essential. Choose your seat here. *This talk is now booked out. To be put on a waiting list, please contact Helen Sim on 0419 635 905.*
(about the speaker or the talk content): Helen Sim 0419 635 905

The talk will be suitable for children aged 12+.

About the talk

Take a trip back in time, into our Galaxy's wild and dangerous past, with Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn.

A dormant volcano a supermassive black hole lies at the heart of our Galaxy. Four million times the mass of our Sun, it has probably been growing for 13 billion years.

Until recently, we thought our Galaxy's black hole had been quiet for a very long time. But exciting new evidence suggests that the centre of our Galaxy was erupting just two million years ago, when early hominids walked the Earth.

The echo of this amazing event can be seen today, imprinted in the night sky.

About the speaker

Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn (Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney) is an astrophysicist who has worked in the UK, the USA and Australia. He specialises in research on galaxies.

With Professor Ken Freeman from The Australian National University (ANU), he developed the field of "Galactic archeology" the process of uncovering the details of the history of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Professor Bland-Hawthorn is also an expert on developing instrumentation for astronomy, and is helping to pioneer the new field of astrophotonics: using photonic devices in astronomy.

The Allison-Levick Memorial Talk

The Allison-Levick Memorial Lecture is funded by a bequest from Mr Jack Allison-Levick, a Melbourne psychiatrist with a life-long interest in astronomy. Mr Allison-Levick had seen photographs taken with the AAO's telescopes by astrophotographer David Malin, and was moved to leave money in his will for talks that would enhance the public understanding of astronomy and further the reputation of the Observatory.

Past speakers

David Malin
Richard Ellis
Fred Watson
Joss Bland-Hawthorn
John Peacock
Malcolm Longair
Bob Kirshner
Kim-Vy Tran
Brian Schmidt
2003 Professor David Malin (Anglo-Australian Observatory)
2004 Professor Richard Ellis (Caltech)
2005 Professor Fred Watson (Anglo-Australian Observatory)
2006 Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn (Anglo-Australian Observatory)
2007 Professor John Peacock (Royal Observatory Edinburgh)
2008 Professor Malcolm Longair (University of Cambridge)
2009 Professor Robert Kirschner (Harvard University)
2010 Professor Kim-Vy Tran (Texas A&M University and University of Zurich)
2012 Professor Brian Schmidt (Australian National University)

A crowd of 800 people in a theatre.
The audience for the 2012 Allison-Levick talk. Photo: Jurek Brzeski

More information

Media assistance: Helen Sim
T: +61 2 9372 4251
M: +61 419 635 905