Sydney Astrofest 2016

Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney

Saturday 30 July 2016 - 4pm to 9pm

The ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) is delighted to host the inaugural Sydney Astrofest. Together with other Australian research organisations, science outreach initiatives, astronomy societies and many others, we have designed an exciting program for an entire evening of FREE indoor and outdoor entertainment, suitable for all the family:

  • night-sky telescope viewing,
  • awesome astronomy talks,
  • planetarium show - several sessions of Capturing the Cosmos,
  • expert interactive activities and demonstrations, and
  • prizes to win

Program now available - download here


Online registrations will close at 2pm on Saturday 30 July 2016. You will be able to register at the Registration Desk at Sydney Astrofest 2016 until 7.30pm.

Competition Draw - Register and attend for a chance to win a CELESTRON TELESCOPE or SYDNEY OBSERVATORY NIGHT TOUR. The competition draw will be held at 8pm in the CPC Auditorium and announced at 8.05pm at the Registration Desk and at the CAASTRO stand. Winners will also be contacted directly if a mobile phone number was provided.

Winners MUST present themselves to the Registration Desk by 8.30pm, 30 July 2016.

Invited Speakers

Dr Alan Duffy - MC & Keynote speaker

Alan is an astronomer at Swinburne University creating baby universes on the nation’s most powerful supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our own Milky Way form and explore the  nature of the hidden universe, dark matter and dark energy. He is a Chief Investigator in SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere, that is search for this dark matter and a team member of leading galaxy mapping projects with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.
He is a regular on ABC Breakfast News and Ten’s The Project with over 70 TV interviews and 100 radio appearances in the last two years alone, as well as writer for one of Australia’s most popular science magazines Cosmos and his own column in the conversation.

Dr Vanessa Moss

Vanessa is postdoctoral researcher at The University of Sydney and is part of a team of astronomers studying hydrogen in galaxies over the past 8 billion years. They are using the new Australian telescope ASKAP to make discoveries in a time of the universe's evolution that has previously been largely hidden. She regularly gets to operate ASKAP, and point it at interesting galaxies to search for hydrogen!
Vanessa also runs tours of the night sky at the Sydney Observatory every week.

David Malin

David was an astronomer/photographic scientist at the Anglo-Australian Observatory (now the Australian Astronomical Observatory) from 1975 to 2001 and pioneered new ways of making true colour images of astronomical objects, making some interesting scientific discoveries along the way -- Malin 1 is still the largest known spiral galaxy.

Associate Professor Tara Murphy

Tara works primarily in radio astronomy. Her main research interests are in radio transients and variables. In particular she is leading the radio transients project on ASKAP, and is part of the MWA transients collaboration. These surveys are designed to detect astronomical objects that vary on (relatively) rapid timescales, from things in our local neighbourhood such exoplanets and ultracool dwarfs to distant supernovae and gamma-ray bursts.

Dr Duane Hamacher - keynote

Duane is a Senior ARC DECRA Fellow at the Monash Indigenous Centre in Melbourne. He leads the Indigenous Scientific Knowledge focus area in Monash's Faculty of Arts, where his research team explores Indigenous astronomical and geological knowledge. Duane is Secretary of the International Society of Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, chair of the IAU Working Group on Intangible Heritage, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith

Lisa is a Research Astronomer at CSIRO's Astronomy and Space Science division. She is the Project Scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and acting Team Leader for ATNF Science Operations Support. Lisa’s research tackles a range of topics including astrophysical masers, massive star formation, planetary nebulae, the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism and supernova remnants.
Lisa is an acclaimed science writer and speaker. Her latest article on the SKA was published in Patrick Moore's Yearbook of Astronomy 2016. Lisa frequently promotes the work of CSIRO and the SKA project in the national and international media and via talks to schools, colleges, industry groups and amateur astronomers. Last year, she opened "An Evening with Neil DeGrasse Tyson" at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion and featured in two live stage shows with Buzz Aldrin.

Joe Callingham

Joe Callingham is a PhD candidate at The University of Sydney. His PhD thesis is largely focused on investigating the properties of young galaxies with the new Australian radio telescope called the Murchison Widefield Array. The aim of his project is to better understand the early stages of galaxy evolution. Joe enjoys surfing, playing soccer, reading and having a good beer!

Major Sponsors


CAASTRO is proud to be hosting this inaugural event at the University of Sydney. Our talented group of Phd students, researchers and educators will be running a number of booths at Syd Astrofest16 offering interactive demonstrations and activities thtat will inspire all the family. CAASTRO is the Australian Research Centre for All-sky Astrophysics - a collaboration between the University of Sydney, the University of Western Australia, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, Curtin University and the University of Queensland (2011-2018).


Celestron is the world-leading manufacturer of telescopes. From your first telescope to precision, observatory-grade instruments, Celestron have the perfect telescope to suit your experience level and budget.  Celestron has kindly offered to GIVE AWAY a telescope to a lucky prize winner on the night - all you need to do is register online and attend Syd Astofest16 for your chance to win. You can also register at the event.

More Sponsors & Exhibitors

  • Sydney Institute for Astronomy, The University of Sydney
  • The School of Engineering & IT, The University of Sydney
  • Sydney Observatory, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences
  • International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)
  • The School of Physics, The University of Sydney
  • Bintel
  • iTelescope
  • CSIRO & the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
  • Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)
  • One Giant Leap
  • The Astronomical Society of NSW
  • Sutherland Astronomical Society
  • Macarthur Astronomical Society
  • SOLIS - Sydney Outdoor Lighting Improvement Society
  • Pendoley Environmental
  • Sydney City Skywatchers


Lions Club sausage sizzle - raising funds for The Starlight Foundation

Taste Cafe - CPC Hub

Any questions? Email