In Technology

Western Australia Minister for Science and Innovation John Day

Astrofest To Foster Wonder At WA’s Night Sky

 Victor P Taffa

  • Festival brings science of astronomy to the people
  • Includes shows, telescopes, spacedomes and astrophotography
  • This engagement promotes science as a career option

Science and Innovation Minister John Day today announced the commencement of Perth Astrofest, which takes place tomorrow at Curtin Stadium.

Astrofest aims to show the wonders of the Western Australian night sky with a host of attractions such as solar system walks, science shows, telescopes, spacedomes, astrophotography and a presentation on indigenous astronomy.

Mr. Day will be represented by Riverton MLA Mike Nahan and said the event was organised by a volunteer committee led by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).

“ICRAR has engaged more than 25,000 students, teachers and members of the community in the past two years through its education and outreach programs, and thousands more will attend Astrofest to share in the wonder of gazing at the stars, moon and planets.” Mr. Day said.

“This engagement has significantly raised the profile of science in WA and the idea that this area is a viable career option.”

The Minister said ICRAR had emerged as a major international centre of excellence in astronomical science and technology since its establishment with State Government assistance.

“The centre has attracted some of the best researchers in the world to Perth, creating a critical mass of 100 world-class staff and graduate students across science and engineering.” Mr. Day said.

“Notably, ICRAR has funded a joint study with iVEC and Oxford University to research the application of cloud computing and to address the processing and data management challenges facing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). ICRAR and IBM have also signed a letter of intent to collaboratively research the data intensive technologies required for the SKA.”

“Through its tireless work, ICRAR has leveraged a further $111 Million in external funding.” Mr. Day said.

Fact File

  • ICRAR equal joint venture of Curtin University and UWA, established in 2009 with $20 Million in State Govt funding and $85 Million cash-in-kind from joint venture partners
  • Astrofest run by local astronomy-related organisations, including ICRAR, Scitech, Perth Observatory and the Astronomical Group of WA, with support from the Department of Commerce
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