Community explores the stars
■ An astronomer from Swinburne University travelled to the Pilbara to share her love of the stars with more than 300 students at St Luke’s College this month.
The PhD student, Rebecca Allen, took the audience on an astronomical journey, sharing stories of the importance of the night sky to different world cultures, such as the ancient Greeks, indigenous Australians, and South Americans.
Ms Allen told the audience that while growing up in Georgia, USA, she had always had a fascination with the outdoors and night sky.
She said this led to her current research in high redshift galaxies, the distant galaxies that give astronomers insight into the history of the universe.
Ms Allen’s visit to Karratha culminated in an Astronomy Night that attracted more than 250 people from the local community.
The event was supported by St Luke’s College Karratha Science Engagement Network, Empowering People In The Community, Inspiring Australia and Scitech.
EPIC research writer Bindi Grove said audience members were able to have a firsthand experience of the Pilbara night sky with the use of telescopes donated by St Luke’s College.
She said the commemorative telescopes were part of a Guinness World Record stargazing attempt in Australia that took place on August 21.
“Saturn’s rings were so clearly visible that one younger audience member declared that it looked like a toy in the sky,” she said. “The night was such a huge success that future events are being planned in partnership with St Luke’s College.”
More than 250 Astronomy Night.