The image on the left was taken a few years ago and shows a couple of galaxies and nearby stars. The image on the right was taken at the Keck telescope in March of the same region of sky. It shows the same galaxies and stars, but also an additional bright compact object (in the upper right). This is the supernova - a star that exploded 100 million years ago but the light is only reaching us today. For a brief time the supernova is almost as bright as an entire galaxy of stars.
By Professor Duncan Forbes
It was a dark and stormy night in the city of Angels. Well, actually it wasn’t.
It was a clear night on the summit of Mauna Kea at Keck Observatory on 20 March. My colleagues and I were using the Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) instrument, which looks at faint objects in the visible wavelengths, to study star clusters and small galaxies.
I was actually in our special ‘remote ops’ room at Swinburne, with my postdoc, Joachim Janz. This is a room decked out with a computer, a backup computer, a video-link to Keck Observatory and a dedicated internet connection. As we are 21 hours ahead of Hawaii, it was a Friday afternoon Melbourne time, when we started observing, but Thursday night in Hawaii. My colleagues, Sam Penny and Mark Norris, were in the Keck control room, and Aaron Romanowsky was in his remote ops room at UC Santa Cruz.
Shortly into our night’s observing, we noticed a bright source in the guide camera image that wasn’t on our finding chart of that region. Still we managed to find our target and took a spectrum of it. We decided to go back and see if that `new’ bright source was still there. Sure enough it was and it hadn’t moved. It was probably a supernova (or an asteroid coming straight at us!), so I decided to get a 5min spectrum with ESI. And indeed we had found a supernova—a type Ia to be exact. Type Ia supernovae are fairly rare in the nearby Universe and represent the explosion of at least one white dwarf star in a binary system. It is this same type of supernova that led to the discovery of Dark Energy in the Universe using the Keck Observatory, and three Nobel prizes.
Our supernova is located in the outskirts of a galaxy some 100 million light years from us - so it exploded 100 million years ago but the light only reached us that night.
I later found out that an automated telescope on the Palomar Mountain overlooking Los Angeles detected the supernova shortly before us. They also managed to get a spectrum but that was taken after our Keck II/ESI spectrum. The exciting thing is that both the Palomar Observatory and ourselves managed to observe the supernova in the 1-2 weeks before it reaches its maximum brightness (and then fades steadily after that).
The supernova has been given the designation SN2014ai.
All in all, not bad for a late night at the office…
Caption for image: The image on the lefty was taken a few years ago and shows a couple of galaxies and nearby stars. The image on the right was taken at the Keck telescope in March of the same region of sky. It shows the same galaxies and stars, but also an additional bright compact object (in the upper right). This is the supernova - a star that exploded 100 million years ago but the light is only reaching us today. For a brief time the supernova is almost as bright as an entire galaxy of stars.
MyLEAD: Leadership in Engagement, Academics and Development
How can you improve the way you learn? Receive a personalised learning profile and find out more about your personal approach to learning. The MyLEAD learning motivation survey is now open to all Swinburne students.
The MyLEAD survey takes about 25 minutes to complete and a learning profile will be available immediately after completion. The learning profile contains information about your sources of motivation, planning, self-awareness, social learning skills, and tendency to delay study tasks. Self-help strategies are also available to address these important learning attributes.
Students who complete the survey go in the draw to win 1 of 5 $200 iTunes vouchers or 1 of 50 movie passes. Prizes will also be drawn in the last week of semester one.
A unique program at Swinburne College is giving International Students an exclusive insight into Australian workplaces.
English Plus Volunteering, a Swinburne College Group Program which runs for six weeks, is an English language program held at Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus. The program gives international students the chance to improve their English skills while undertaking a volunteer placement at an Australian business.
Tim Field, Swinburne College Business Development Manager, said that the students who undertook the one day a week placement- for five weeks and then a final week full time- did it in a range of industries.
“We always try to place the students in an industry that they are interested in working in upon completion of their studies,” Mr Field said.
“So far we have had students working in the not-for-profit sector, local schools, child care, tourism and hospitality industries.”
Ayaka Kondo, a Japanese student who came to Swinburne College to do the English Plus volunteer program, completed her placement at serviced apartment business Quest Hawthorn. During that time she was able to take on a range of different tasks, which included housekeeping and administrative duties.
Ayaka was able to practice her English, gain confidence and exposure to cross-cultural communication in a real-world setting, while also engaging in practical industry experience through her placement.
“Working at Quest has helped me to practice my English conversational skills. All of the staff have been friendly and have helped me to improve my understanding of the English language,” Ms Kondo said.
English Plus Volunteering program is just one of the unique Group Programs offered through Swinburne College, which is a part of Swinburne University of Technology. English Plus Volunteering is available to International students only. You can find out more about enrolling in a course at Swinburne College here.
Photo taken by Sarah Nammuni Dewage
By Matthew Rowland
In January 2014, I left Melbourne for a month along with 23 other students to take part in the Nepal Cultural Study Tour. Coming from a computer science course, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be properly equipped to deal with the subject matter, or that I wouldn’t get as much out of the experience as the other students, but I was still excited to explore somewhere so different and unique.
Once we arrived, I soon realised that I needn’t have worried. Paula and Mark’s pre-departure lectures had served to quickly bring me up to speed with the more sociologically-minded students, and I soon found practical applications for terms I’d never heard of before – such as cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and cultural security.
Learning to apply these concepts in concert with my own disciplinary expertise is a skill that I feel will not only be valuable from an employment perspective, but have also served to make me more reflective and capable of deeper critical thinking in my daily life.
In a few short weeks I met a lama, visited a Tibetan refugee camp, trekked to 3200m above sea level, went paragliding, visited a self-sustaining Eco village and stayed in a rural Nepali village, plus countless other unforgettable experiences.
Nepal is a fantastic, vibrant country with an abundance of history and flavour, and I can’t think of a better way to have experienced it than with a group of my peers and two interested, engaged teachers.
If you’re interested in learning more about Nepal and the Cultural Study Tour, check out the upcoming info session:
Date: Thursday 10 April
For more info contact Dr Paula Geldens on 9214 4677, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swinburne’s University of Technology’s Diploma of Visual Merchandising and Visual Arts students have been hard at work painting and decorating life-sized horses, as part of an upcoming display at Eastland Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s outer east.
The horses, which are painted with bright colourful designs, will join a range of other hand-decorated animals at a display that will be installed at Eastland’s centre square craft village this Wednesday 2 April, to create an animal studio exhibition.
Visual Merchandising course co-ordinator, Justin Larsen, said that the project had involved a range of people working on the project.
“Throughout the past six weeks, we have had Swinburne students, staff and design alumni working together to collaborate with Eastland Shopping Centre, to help create an inviting craft space for children to use during the school holidays,” Mr Larsen said.
“We have done everything from designing and painting the horses, to transporting them from Wantirna to the centre.”
Swinburne was responsible for decorating two horses, as well as creating some of the background scenery for the display, giving the students a good insight into a range on visual merchandising and visual arts practices.
“Having out students work on these projects with industry partners enables us to educate them not just on the practical skills, but also on the workflow of a project to this scale.
“The students are given a broader perspective on what working in these areas involves. It is good for them to see how a project is completed from start, through to finish.”
Running until April 21, the collaborative display at Eastland has been created by a range of education providers and community groups.
My name is Jessica Hardy and I’m in my fourth year studying a Bachelor of Marketing/Bachelor of Communication Design at Swinburne.
Just over two years ago a friend of mine asked for my help to host a gala ball for a lesser-known charity. Two years and two trivia nights later, we’re just over a month away from our first charity ball.
Our aim is to raise awareness and money for Huntington’s Victoria, the only service in Victoria that supports those living with Huntington’s disease (HD). This genetic condition affects the brain, and progressively worsens over time, and is classified in the same name group as Parkinson’s disease and MS.
Most importantly there is no cure or effective treatment.
The money raised through the Hope Ball will go directly to Huntington’s Victoria and to supporting the people who need it most. A $50 donation can provide out of home respite care for an individual for one day, also providing a break for the main carer.
The night itself will be filled with a variety of dance performances, choreographed by studios around Melbourne. Michael Stangel, a contestant from The Voice will perform and our MC for the night is former AFL footballer Michael Roberts who is now a television sports journalist and reporter with the Nine Network and Triple M.
Huntington Victoria’s Hope Ball is on Saturday, 24 May 2014.
More info: email@example.com
This week in Swinning Style features journalism student Mykal Hoare.
Mykal is wearing:
We thought the sunglasses truly made this outfit.
Share your awesome uni outfits at #swinningstyle on Instagram.
The Library is very busy this semester and until the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC) is completed there will be increased pressure on study space availability in the Library and on campus.
We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. When the AMDC opens, we will open up additional study spaces in the BA building in rooms currently being used for classrooms. In the meantime, here are some tips for this semester.
Seven tips to find a study space