The Diurnals

Contributed by Pat Larkin

The DIURNALS is a friendly group which meets during the daytime on the third Tuesday of the month February - December.


To provide an opportunity for meetings during the DAYTIME.

To disseminate knowledge on various facets of astronomy and related fields, together with Space Exploration, in an informal environment.

To foster enjoyment of the subject matter with kindred spirits, and to encourage newer members who may show an interest in a particular area.

There are no pre-requisites and you don't have to be a mathematics or physics genius! Just come with a desire to learn.  Most months, we have a guest speaker, and talks given cover a wide range of astronomical fields and space exploration. Occasionally, a film is shown followed by discussion if desired.   Two or three times a year, we will have an excursion to another facility, e.g., Swinburne University, Melbourne Planetarium or a Science facility.                                             

Next Meeting:        17th JULY  2018.

TIME:                     10.20  a.m.  (for a 10.30 start  -  approx. 11.45 a.m.

VENUE:                  REALITY THEATRE  at SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY   (Please note changed venue) 

 PRESENTER:      Sara Webb (on behalf of  Convenor, Dr. Rebecca Allen.)  

                               Three Post Graduate Students will present as follows, on their studies/research.

COST:                        FREE


        STUDENT:         Poojan Agrawal       

            Globular Clusters  (GC's) are the most massive and oldest class of star cluster and are home to peculiar objects like  blue stragglers and millisecond pulsars.  A good part of our understanding of stellar and galaxy evolution comes from them.  However, recent observational studies have discovered that most of the GC's consist of different stellar populations with different chemical abundances; they are no longer a simple system of stars with a single age and a single metallicity as previously thought.  This new discovery has revolutionized the research field and demands a more realistic model for the formation and dynamical evolution of GC's to be developed. 

Poojan explains the importance of research in this field not just from the point of view of understanding stellar properties but also for constraining binary population in globular clusters which are important sources of Gravitational waves.  We will  learn of  Poojan's work in theoretical predictions.


    STUDENT:    Jacob Seiler

      Approximately 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe has expanded and cooled enough that neutral hydrogen atoms are able to form.  After this point, the Universe enters into the 'Dark Ages' where no sources of light exist.  However, due to some regions of space containing more dark matter than others, gravitationally overdense regions begin to grow.  A further 250 million years later, these overdense regions form into dark matter halos and provide the perfect conditions for the birth of the first stars.  As these stars and eventual galaxies continue to form and evolve, they release ionizing radiation which strips the electrons from  the neutral hydrogen of the Universe.  This process of stripping electrons, called 'Re-ionization' lasts until the universe is a billion years old, after which the galaxies continue to evolve in an ionized universe.

Jacob's thesis focuses on investigating how re-ionization proceeds and more importantly, understanding the interaction between the ionized hydrogen and galaxies.


STUDENT:   Sara Webb:    "Deeper Wider Faster Astronomy Program"

Sara will present on the above program which is an exciting multi-facility, multi-wavelength program that chases the fastest events in our Universe.  As part of her talk, she'll present on how anyone interested in the audience can get involved with their observations next year and help analyse data remotely during our real time run.


Come along for an interesting morning to learn of Post-Graduates' research, which keeps us up to date, and which sometimes results in us modifying our own theories!


   For enquiries:  Phone Pat Larkin on 0400 457 342