The Story of Light: Deciphering the Data Encoded in the Cosmic Light

The Story of Light – Deciphering the data encoded in the cosmic light
29 May 2016
14:00 - 15:30
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007

The information encoded in the light emitted by stars, gas, and galaxies provides the key for understanding the Universe.

For decades, astrophysicists have developed novel approaches to exploring the light of the Cosmos, most recently through data-intensive techniques, analytics and visualization tools to extract the information collected by extremely sensitive telescopes and instruments. Astronomers have been pioneers in developing data science techniques to make sense of this huge data deluge, many of which are now used in other areas.

In this event, four professional astrophysicists will discuss what astronomy provides in the context of exploiting big data:

  • The light and light-based technologies developed in Australian astronomy for both optical and radio telescopes; the tools, platforms, and techniques used for data analysis and visualization
  • How astronomers create simulation data
  • How some of these techniques are being used in other research areas and;
  • The major scientific contributions toward our understanding of the Universe.

Hear about the exciting challenges in detecting planets around other stars, learn about how galaxies form and evolve, what dark matter and dark energy are, how we search for extra-terrestrial life, and more. The the panel will happily answer any questions about the Universe, so bring yours along. 


  • Dr. Vanessa Moss (CAASTRO/Univ. of Sydney)
  • Dr. Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO/MQU)
  • Dr. Luke Barnes (Univ. of Sydney)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Mannering (AAO/ICRAR)

Host by Dr. Alan R. Duffy (Swinburne University)

This event is presented by the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)


*Booking and transaction fees may apply