Stars in his eyes
WHILE researching the origins of the universe, astrophysicist Danail Obreschkow still finds time for moments of pure wonder.
The University of WA (UWA) International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research associate professor said one of the greatest experiences of his career was at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico last year.
“All of a sudden I see these radio waves coming from a galaxy that was super far away, two billion light years away,” Dr Obreschkow said.
“I thought ‘that radio wave left its galaxy two billion years ago when there was nothing on Earth except for green slime’.
“Our entire evolution took place while these radio waves were quietly travelling through space and I was the first person to see them. That was a good moment.”
Dr Obreschkow will host a free talk and outdoor telescope viewing at the Subiaco Library on August 17 during National Science Week.
“Communication is a big part of science. People want to know about planets, about galaxies and the universe. They want answers, they want inspiration,” he said.
As well as researching the behaviour of bubbles in micro-gravity, Dr Obreschkow is working on the Square Kilometre Array to be built near Geraldton in 2017.
“It is likely to be a game changer in astrophysics for this century,” he said.
“This centre was built in a joint venture between UWA, Curtin University and the government to support the construction of this billion-dollar radio telescope.”
Dr Obreschkow said his father first sparked his interest in astronomy while growing up in Switzerland.
“I remember when I was maybe three years old; my father would take me out and explain how the stars are connected,” he said.
“Ever since I can remember, I have had this fascination with the skies.”
Danail Obreschkow will present a talk for the City of Subiaco as part of Science Week.