Media profile of Swinburne astronomer Associate Professor Alan Duffy, Lead Scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia, with appearances on TV, radio and print speaking on dark matter, dark energy, galaxy formation, indigenous astronomy and alien worlds. He is an experienced public speaker, science communicator and leading expert in space science and astrophysics.
I am a passionate believer that any science concept can be explained to any audience in a fun and accessible way. I've tried to prove that's true on topics as diverse as Black Holes to Alien Worlds in more than 150 TV interviews (including fortnightly ABC Breakfast and regular Ten's The Project segments), hundreds of radio broadcasts, a column in theconversation, articles for Cosmos Magazine and ABC The Drum, and many more print / online pieces besides. I have a lot of fun asking (and I hope answering!) those questions that the audience at home would be curious about. See my CV for more.
Turn your smartphone into a cosmic ray hunter with the free CREDO app! Currently available on Android (any Apple developers out there get in contact) and already with 2.5 million detections the growing userbase is helping us search for the most extreme events in the Universe. Not that this helped me with Virginia on News Breakfast who asked me some seriously tough (but as usual, brilliant) questions on the health risks of Cosmic Rays.
To my amazement (and with gratitude to the judges!) I won the 2018 Celestino Promoting Understanding of Science at the Australian Museum’s national Eureka Awards. This is basically the highest honour scientists who communicate that science to the public and that it was decided by an illustrious judging panel who I look up too is an incredible feeling of support and acknowledgement.
It's nearly time for #NationalScienceWeek and we have updated the amazing (and free!) SciVR app to let you explore the universe in virtual reality on your smartphone! As before we are also giving you the chance to enter a ballot for free VR headsets that make the experience even better. Just head to www.scivr.com.au to register for that, download the app and book tickets for the live events (streaming online to over a dozen satellite events across Australia and the world!)
Victoria's state government will contribute $5 million to build the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory.
The funding has been announced by Victoria’s state Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, and matches the federal government’s funding commitment confirmed in April. The laboratory will be built one kilometre underground, within the Stawell Gold Mine, as a bespoke excavated cavity 30 metres long, 10 metres wide and 10 metres high. It will provide ultra-low background research facilities (free from the particles that form background radiation) needed in the ground-breaking search for dark matter.
Really excited to finally share something that’s been in the works for a while, I’ll be lending my weight to a national grant program for schools to purchase cool experiments - through the OfficeMax and Winc STEAM Grant-Bot Program.
To all school teachers out there, just submit a 250 word (or less) entry before July 12 on the www.impressgrantbot.com.au site explaining why you and your school deserve to win. Smart algorithm ‘Grant-Bot’ will select the finalists (with my and leading whale researcher Dr Vanessa Pirotta’s help!) to be in the running to win their share of $50,000 worth of STEAM grants.
This is the heart of darkness.
The gravity of the blackhole is so great it casts a ‘shadow’ 2.5 times larger than itself (as defined by its event horizon) against the glowing material swirling into its maw.
That darkness is the size of the solar system but even so 6.5 billion Sun’s worth of mass crushes up pretty small when you’re a black hole.