Stars in his eyes

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

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.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d441747

Danail Obreschkow will present a talk for the City of Su­bi­aco as part of Science Week.

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