PRECISE CHOT: Byron Bay photographer Dylan O'Donnell took this stunning photo of the International Space Station passing the moon on Tuesday, which was then used by NASA as its Christmas card image.
PRECISE CHOT: Byron Bay photographer Dylan O'Donnell took this stunning photo of the International Space Station passing the moon on Tuesday, which was then used by NASA as its Christmas card image. Contributed

A festival all about the stars, science and astronomy

IT'S 'planet season' right now for professional and hobby astronomers, with Saturn and Mars approaching opposition (bigger and brighter than ever), plus Mars this year looking bigger than it has been for decades.

The Star Stuff II will be a festival of space, science and astronomy that will appeal to those who look up to the stars and planets not for clues on why their love life is so problematic, but to understand the universe around us.

Scientists and publishers from Australia, Canada and the USA will congregate at Byron Bay for the two-day event to discuss all things astronomy.

The festival will include solar astronomy and night sky tours plus some star gazing, weather permitting.

Festival organiser and local astronomer Dylan O'Donnel will offer a session called I Can't Believe It's Not Science, where he will explore the fine line between the backyard astronomer and the professional scientist, and will present the case for the self-taught home scientist and how you can become one.

CSIRO scientist John Sarkissian will offer an insight in the work done in the country to advance astronomical science in a lecture called Dishing up the Data: Parkes and Space Missions.

The Australian film, The Dish, highlighted the role played by the Parkes Radio Telescope in tracking and communicating with the Apollo 11 mission.

However, Sarkissian will explain how the events depicted in this film represent only a single snapshot of the role played by Parkes in the exploration of the Solar System by NASA.

  • At Elements of Byron Resort, 144 Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay, July 7 and 8. For details visit starstuff.com.au.


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