Festival of Astronomy and Space Science – October 2017

Astronomers love conferences. You meet a lot of people, share a lot of ideas and, best of all, you get to talk a lot about the work you love. The problem is, there’s often a lot of travel involved to get to them. For some, that’s not an issue, but for others, it can be a bit of an obstacle. The solution? Hold your own Festival of Astronomy and Space Science right where you live.

This year the second Festival of Astronomy and Space Science was held at the University of Southern Queensland, with a fascinating line up of topics and guest speakers drawing a crowd of enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Our first guest on the opening night of the festival, was one of the brightest young stars in Australian Astronomy, Dr. Tamara Davis from the University of Queensland.

Day 1 of the Festival of Astronomy & Space.
Guest speaker professor Tamara Davis, from the University of Queensland

Tamara shared with her audience her view of one of Astronomy’s latest controversial topics – Dark matter, by tackling the somewhat prickly question often asked by Cosmological Theory skeptics and fans alike – does Dark Matter really exist?

Dr. Davis took us on a brisk tour of the highlights of the increasing pile of data, that not only convinces many in the Astronomy community that Dark matter is really real but also lays a tantalising trail of breadcrumbs as to what Dark Matter could actually be made of.

So, Is Dark Matter Real?

“We don’t know the answer yet, “Professor Davis told her captivated audience, who were gathered around the Alison Dickson Lecture Theatre in Toowoomba like a galaxy of curious stars. “But there is enough reason to keep asking the question,” was her conclusion.

I, for one, am looking forward to helping to find out the answer, aren’t you?

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