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National Science Week 2015

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by Jo Harris (subscribe)
I love the things we have here in South Australia – the fabulous food, wine, people and places – beauty everywhere. And, for more beauty in my life, I own and operate a gorgeous little gallery called Mrs Harris’ Shop:
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Astronomical activities in Science Week
National Science Week for 2015 is under way. While it officially started on Saturday 15 August its inevitable that many events 'jump the gun' and even more linger long after the official closing date.

National Science Week

In fact, there's a whole collection of events, particularly relating to astronomy, that you might even say were light years ahead of the official Science Week calendar, having started as early as two weeks ago.

Lectures with world-class speakers: A Spaceman's view of the Planet with astronaut Chris Hadfield, Fred Watson, Astronomer in Charge at the Australian Astronomical Observatory and the mighty Victor Gostin with Was Man ever Alive?

And, Adelaide's only planetarium, at the University of SA at Mawson Lakes has, as always, been leading the way with some fabulous events.

So, you missed the spaceship this time, but you can keep a close watch on planetarium events at They have great programs for kids and adults that go throughout the year.)

With events of this calibre BEFORE Science Week, don't waste a minute planning how you will fill the rest of this annual celebration of all things science.

Reach for the stars with some of these astronomical offerings:

Breathing life into Stone: a presentation by Mars One astronaut candidate Josh Richards.

A free lecture.

National Science Week

Helena is a payload project developed by Mars One Project candidate Josh Richards and the University of Western Australia for Mars One's 2020 lander, designed to carry crowd-funded artwork and produce the first oxygen on Mars. 
It was the only southern hemisphere project shortlisted in the top 10 of a recent international competition and the team has been granted funding to tour Australia during National Science Week.

Josh Richards has progressed to the final 100 candidates for the Mars One Project. He was Co-Lead of the UWA Helena Project and is member of NASA HI-SEAS Mission Support. Josh completed the Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program conducted by the International Space University and UniSA in 2014.

Monday 17 August Noon-1.00pm
Room MM1-05, Minerals and Materials Building, Mawson Lakes Campus, University of South Australia

Monday 17 August 6.30pm-7.30pm
Room 112, Engineering South Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
More information from
Free, but RSVP (It's a stretch, but you might just get in!)

Vision, Light and Colour

The 5th Annual ANZ Forensic Science Society's free National Science Week Event. David Malin, an authority on cosmic photography, will present a richly illustrated and mostly non-technical talk revealing some little-known aspects of light. Of interest to anyone interested in photography, astronomy, imaging and the reliability of human observations at low-light intensities.

National Science Week

Tuesday 18 August 7pm–9pm

German Club, Upstairs Room, 223
Flinders St, Adelaide
More information from Carolyne Bird 8226 7700 or

Ancient World: space, science, the universe and Are we alone?

National Science Week

Dr Charles Lineweaver, Planetary Science Institute, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ANU), Mt Stromlo Observatory (ACT) joins us for a stimulating discussion about the current state of space science and will attempt to answer the big questions.

There will also be a robust Q and A session to give the audience a chance to ask Dr Lineweaver anything about outer space.

Thursday 20 August 6pm
Ancient World, 116 Hindley St, Adelaide
More information from Brad Cameron 0417 419 269

The Heights Astronomical Society: Public viewing night

The Heights Observatory has two large permanently mounted telescopes in a traditional dome and a roll off roof building, where members of the public will be able to view planets, stars and nebulae.

National Science Week

The Observatory is located in the grounds of The Heights School at Modbury Heights.

Please check online before leaving home to see if he event has been cancelled due to poor weather.

Thursday 20 August – session will start at 7:30pm and conclude at 10:00pm.

The Heights Observatory
The Heights School, Augustus Street, Modbury Heights (Parking available off Augustus Street)

Cost $10/adult $3/U15.

More information Andrew Cool at The Heights Observatory

Stockport winter star party

Join members of the Astronomical Society of SA at this iconic Science Week event. View the Moon, planets, stars and galaxies from a dark sky through a range of large telescopes.

National Science Week
Andromeda galaxy - the nearest big galaxy to our galaxy, the Milky Way. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saturday 22 August 7.30pm

Stockport Observatory, Observatory Road, Stockport
More information Lyn Grida 8391 5377 or

Citizen Science Galaxy Explorer

National Science Week

Calling citizens of Earth – citizen scientists are needed to sign up and help astronomers classify over 200 000 images of galaxies that are 800 million to 4 billion light years away.

Take part and you could win a wi-fi telescope.

Go to and do your bit for the galaxy!

National Science Week
Look for this sign at Science Week venues
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Why? Reach for the stars in Science Week
When: Various
Where: Various locations
Cost: Mostly free
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