Guest Speakers

Macarthur Astronomy Forum

Part of the Public Outreach Programme of Macarthur Astronomical Society, the Forum meets on the THIRD MONDAY of each month (except December) at 7.30 pm, unless otherwise stated. 

Since our inception in 1996, we have provided a platform for Australian and international astronomers to disseminate details of cutting edge research and exciting discoveries about the Universe. With presentations that non-scientists can understand, our guest speakers (including users of the largest and most prestigious telescopes on Earth and in space) are designed to expand our cosmic knowledge.

We also allocate spots for competent amateur astronomers to speak on the basics of amateur astronomy. E-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Please also see the Macarthur Astronomy Forum entry in Wikipedia.

Expand Your Universe

In 2014, Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt (ANU) inspired us with a Forum presentation of his ground-breaking discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. MAS aims to "Expand the Universe" for our members and for the community of SW Sydney. We are passionate about learning more about the Cosmos and freely sharing this knowledge. 


Held at



The venue for the meetings of Macarthur Astronomical Society has been provided courtesy of Western Sydney University since 1996. MAS acknowledges the cooperation of WSU and Campbelltown Rotary Observatory in promoting the science of astronomy within the Macarthur community. 

List of Speakers Since 2008

A look at our Guest Speaker List - past, present and future. For our next event, please scroll down to see the current year and look for NEXT.


21st Jan Ric Forster (MAS member)
"Astronomy from Optical to Radio Telescopes: a technologist's Journey.”
18th Feb
Prof Lisa Harvey Smith (CSIRO)
18th Mar "Dissecting Dwarf Galaxies with The AAT"
15th Apr AGM
20th May
Dr Emil Lenc (ASKAP)
17th Jun Les Dalrymple
15th Jul Robert Brand Space Activist & Entrepreneur
19th Aug Dr Lee Spitler (Mac Uni + AAO) TBA
16th Sep Marnie Ogg
"The effects of Light Pollution on Astronomy & the Environment"
21st Oct Prof Geraint Lewis (USYD) TBA
18th Nov
Dr Brad Tucker (ANU)
9th Dec " Local Schools present Astronomical projects " TBA


15th Jan. Marnie Ogg "Fred Watson Tours" Planetary Reflections
19th Feb. Dr Maria Cunningham (UNSW)        Stars and the Stuff Between Them
19th Mar. Dr Luke Barnes (USYD/WSU)       Top 10 things to do before the Universe heat death 
16th Apr. AGM
Annual reports and election of office bearers
21st May. Dr Lee Spitler (Mac Uni + AAO)       Ultra-faint imaging with the Huntsman telescope
18th Jun. Serge Antonov (Astro Devices)        Digital Setting Circles - old and new.
16th Jul. Amy Shira Teitel (Vintage Space) Space Rocks: The Mercury 13 Women
16th Jul. Geoff Notkin "The Meteorite Men" Space Rocks: Meteorite Hunting
20th Aug. Dr Ed Kruzins (NASA)  
“ Deep Space Tracking from Tidbinbilla, New Results from Solar System 
Space Exploration and some Future Developments”
17th Sep. Dr Lucyna Kedziora Chudczer (UNSW) "Clouds in Alien Skies"
15th Oct. Prof Geraint Lewis (USYD) "The Future of the Universe"
19th Nov. Prof Fred Watson AM (AAO) "Astronomy at Large"
10th Dec. " Local Schools present Astronomical projects " NEXT    


16th Jan. Dr Luke Barnes (USYD) The Universe for Beginners
20th Feb. Dr Emil Lenc (CAASTRO) Around the Universe with the Murchison Widefield Array
20th Mar. Dr Vanessa Moss (USYD)      Tracing hydrogen fuel in our home galaxy, the Milky Way
24th Apr. Annual General Meeting AGM
15th May Prof Fred Watson (AAO) Moon Mysteries - Our nearest celestial neighbour.
19th Jun. Prof Andrew Hopkins (AAO) The Taipan Galaxy survey
17th Jul. Dr Lucyna Kedziora Chudczer (UNSW) Juno mission - unlocking mysteries of Jupiter
14th Aug. Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith, Prof Tamara Davis, Dr Maria Cunningham, Prof Naomi McClure-Griffiths. Panel Discussion moderated by Prof Geraint Lewis. 
18th Sep. Dr Jonty Marshall   Exo-Comets: The 1st & Last Fragments Of Planet Formation.
16th Oct. Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO) Capturing the light of the Universe
20th Nov. Prof Gary DaCosta (ANU) SkyMapper - Search for the Milky Way’s oldest stars
11th Dec. Kristie Caplikas (Year 9 student, Prairiewood High School). Supernovae SN 2005CF and SN 2017 HUP.


18th Jan. Dr Jonty Marshall (UNSW) Polarisation of starlight as a tool to examine circumstellar dust. 
15th Feb. Dr Luke Barnes (USYD)          There is more to the Universe than its good looks.
21st Mar. Dr Stuart Ryder (AAO) Supernovae, Old and New.
18th Apr. Dr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer (UNSW) Habitability and Life on Exoplanets.
16th May. AGM followed by A Chile Telescopic Adventure                        Tour the great scopes of Chile with The MAS 7.
20th Jun. Dr Andrew Green (Research fellow AVSO) Bigger than BIG: How do we know, how big?
18th Jul. Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith (CSIRO) When Galaxies collide.
15th Aug. Dr Roberto Soria (ICRAR) Black-hole powered jets and winds.
25th Aug. Dr Ed Kruzins, Director, Canberra DSCC. The NASA Deep Space Network.
19th Sep. Dr Lee Spitler (Macquarie Uni)     The Huntsman Array.
17th Oct. Prof Geraint Lewis (USYD)     What’s Next for Cosmology.
21st Nov. Mohammed Ali Baddah (MAS) & David Metcalf Chasing the Northern Lights.
12th Dec. Students Month:
Prairewood High School
Exoplanets: Steven Condell, Sam Huang, Jackson Zhou and Johnson Phosavanh
Variable Stars in the SMC: Christine Le, Amy Nguyen and Jessica Ho


19th Jan. Dr Jonty Marshall (UNSW) Circumstellar Debris as a Signpost of Planet Formation.
16th Feb. Prof Fred Watson AM (AA0)    Australians vs. The Galaxy – RAVE, GALAH & beyond.
16th Mar. Dr James Allen (USYD) Big is beautiful: why surveys are crucial for astronomy.
20th Apr. Annual General Meeting AGM
18th May.  Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO) Light and Astrophysics.
15th Jun. Bill Ricketts     Resurrecting Aboriginal Star Lore.
20th Jul. Dr Luke Barnes (USYD) Act One, Scene Two: How the Universe blooms.
5th Aug. Dr Ed Kruzins, Director, Canberra DSCC. Canberra DSCC at Tidbinbilla and its role with NASA.
17th Aug. Dr Lee Spitler (Macquarie Uni) A Night in the Life of an Astronomer.
21st Sep. Prof Geraint Lewis (USYD) Einstein: Space-time, Black Holes and Expanding Universes.
19th Oct. Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith (CSIRO) ASKAP, SKA, Colliding Galaxies, Neil De Grasse Tyson & Buzz Aldrin. 
16th Nov. Shaila Akhter (UNSW) You Big Baby! Secrets of Star Birth.
14th Dec. Vina Hing & Linh Thuy Nguyen (Prairiewood H.S.) Eclipsing Binary Stars.


20th Jan. Chris Malikoff (MAS) & Tony Law (MAS)                     What Telescope Should I Buy? & Mauna Kea trip slideshow.
17th Feb. Dr Giovanni Carraro (ESO) How Well Do We Know The Spiral Structure Of Our Own Galaxy?
21st Feb.  Prof Brian Schmidt (ANU, 2011 Nobel Laureate) The Accelerating Universe!
17th Mar. Dr Amanda Bauer (AAO) A Long Time Ago In Galaxies Far, Far Away.
21st Apr. AGM - Election of Management Committee                 Q&A, Topics On Astronomy.
19 May. Shaila Akhter (UNSW) RR Lyrae Stars In The Milky Way Stellar Halo.
18th Jun. Dr Greg Chamitoff (NASA Astronaut). My Space Experience: What It's Like On The Space Station. 
21st Jul. Prof Fred Watson AM (AAO).    It's About Time!
18th Aug. Dr Roberto Soria (ICRAR, Curtin University).   Peering inside a spiral galaxy: stellar birth and death in M83.
15th Sep. Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith (CSIRO) Cosmic Water Fountains Reveal Star Birth & Death.
20th Oct. Dr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer (UNSW) Staring down the barrel of powerful jets - scintillating quasars.
17th Nov. Dr Luke Barnes (USYD) What happened at the Big Bang?
8th Dec. Tony Law (MAS Vice-President)      The US Race to the Moon and beyond.


21st Jan. Chris Malikoff (MAS President).             Astronomy Apps On Mobile Devices.
18th Feb. Mike Salway (Ice in Space Founder). Nightscape Photography.
18th Mar. Dr Graeme Salter (UNSW). Fireflies Beside Lighthouses: Exo-planet Direct Detection. 
15th Apr. AGM + Dr Jonti Horner (UNSW). Rocks From Space.
20th May. Dr Mark Phillips (Assoc.Dir. Las Campanas Obs.) Exploding Stars And The Fate Of The Universe.
17th Jun. Dr Jeremy Bailey (UNSW). Mariner 2 And Its Legacy: 50 Years On.
15th Jul. Prof Fred Watson (AAO).  Navigation And The Interplanetary Superhighway.
19th Aug. Dr Jonti Horner (UNSW).                        Exoplanets And Life Elsewhere.
16th Sep. Dr Geoff Sims (UNSW). Astronomy From Antarctica.
21st Oct. Prof. Geraint Lewis (Sydney University). The Future of Cosmology.
18th Nov. Dr. Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO). Galaxies Of The Local Universe.
Dec. No meeting. ~


16th Jan. Workshop   Workshop.
20th Feb. Dr. Lucyna Chudczer (University of NSW)     Following The Water Trail: The Search For Extrasolar Planets.
19th Mar. Les Dalrymple (Australian Sky & Telescope)      The Evolution Of M83 And The Centaurus Galaxy Cluster.
16th April Annual General Meeting. Astro Sketching: Featuring Alexander Massey.
21st May. Prof. Fred Watson AM (AAO)  In The Face of The Sun.
18th Jun. Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith, (SKA Project Scientist) The SKA - What’s Next?
16th Jul.  Anthony Wesley (Expert Amateur Astro-Imager) Jupiter And Saturn: 2009 To 2012.
20th Aug. Humayun Qureshi (Macarthur Astronomical Society)   DSLR Imaging And General Astrophotography And Processing.
17th Sep. Prof. Geraint Lewis (Sydney University)                    Andromeda And The 30 Dwarfs.
15th Oct. Dr Simon O'Toole (AAO + Deputy Gemini Scientist)    The Kepler Space Telescope: A New View Of Planets And Stars. 
19th Nov. Dr Emil Lenc  (Sydney University & CAASTRO)  The Time Traveller's Guide To The Murchison Widefield Array.
Dec. No Meeting. ~


17th Jan. Tony Law (Macarthur Astronomical Society)    Tony's Telescopic Travels.
21st Feb. Prof. Fred Watson AM (AAO) Poles Apart: The Environment Near A Planet's Poles.
21st Mar. Les Dalrymple (Australian Sky & Telescope) Globular Clusters: History, Evolution & Dynamics.
18th Apr. Annual General Meeting + Daniel Ross (MAS) My Trip To Space Camp.
16th May Prof. John Peacock (Edinburgh University) Slipher: Discovery Of Galaxies And The Expanding Universe.
20th Jun. Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith (CSIRO SKA Project Scientist) A New Generation Telescope: The SKA.
18th Jul. Dr. Mike Ireland (Sydney & Maquarie Universities) Birth & Death of Exoplanets With Telescopes Big and Small.
15th Aug. Prof. Geraint Lewis (Sydney University) Just What Do We Know About The Universe?
19th Sep. Chris Malikoff (Macarthur Astronomical Society) Tuning And Maintaining Your Telescope And Mount.
17th Oct.  Gary Kopff (Wildcard Innovations)      The Argo Navis Digital Telescope Computer.
21st Nov.  Prof. Bryan Gaensler (Sydney University)           Extreme Cosmos.
Dec. No meeting. ~


18th Jan. General Discussion. ~
15th Feb. Dr David Malin (AAO).   Galileo's Legacy.
15th Mar. Prof. Fred Watson AM (AAO). The AAO: More Than A Big White Dome, What Is It's Future? 
19th Apr. Annual General Meeting & Trivia Quiz. Starizona Hyperstar Imaging System Demo with Marc Aragnou.
17th May. Dr Ragbir Bhathal (University of Western Sydney). Aboriginal Astronomy.
21st Jun. Prof. Geraint Lewis (Sydney University). The Birth, Life And Death Of Galaxies.
19th Jul. Associate Professor Peter Tuthill (Sydney Univ). "Deathstar" WR104:  Exotic Curiosity Or Doom Harbinger?
16th Aug. Dr Max Spolaor (A.A.O). The Chemical Evolution Of Galaxies.
20th Sep. Prof. Naomi McClure-Griffiths (A.T.N.F.) What Goes Up And What Comes Down, In The Milky Way.
9th Oct. Dr. David Malin (public talk). The Invisible Universe, Making Sense Of The Unseen.
9th Oct. David Reneke (public talk). Secrets Of The Universe & Moon Landings Facts.
18th Oct.  Bob Bee (Macathur Astronomical Society). Tour Of The Old And The New In European astronomy.
18th Oct. Chris Malikoff (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Refresher In The Use Of Our Website.
15th Nov.  Professor Bryan Gaensler (Sydney University). The Square Kilometre Array.
Dec.  No meeting.  ~


Jan. Chris Malikoff (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Discussion On MAS Website Use.
Feb. Ian Cook (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Your Favourite Star.
Mar. Dr Andrew Hopkins (Anglo-Australian Observatory). Our Galaxy.
Apr. Annual General Meeting.  Astronomy Trivia  Trevor and Anne Rhodes.
May. Prof. Bryan Gaensler (Sydney University). Magnets In The Sky.
Jun. Bob Bee (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Mapping The Constellations With Mythology.
Jul. Dr. Ragbir Bhathal (University of Western Sydney).  Searching for Life in the Universe. (Public Talk)
Jul. Chris Malikoff (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Imaging With A Digital S.L.R. Part 1.
Aug. Prof. Geraint Lewis (Sydney University). Cosmology And Dark Energy.
Sep. No Guest Speaker. General Telescope Forum.
Sep. Prof. Fred Watson (Anglo Australian Observatory). Why Is Uranus Upside Down? (Public talk).
Oct. Chris Malikoff  (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Imaging With A Digital S.L.R.  Part 2.
Nov. Dr Tim Robishaw (Sydney University). Magnetic Fields Near and Far.
Dec. No meeting.  ~


Feb. Prof. Geraint Lewis (Sydney University). Galactic Cannibalism.
Mar. Kate & Daniel Ross (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Tour Of U.K. Observatories.
Apr. Annual General Meeting. Reports & Election of Office Bearers.
May. Prof. Bryan Gaensler (Sydney University). The Amazing Magnetars.
Jun. Dr. Laszlo Kiss (Sydney University). Exploding Stars.
Jul. Chris Malikoff (Macarthur Astronomical Society). The New MAS Website.
Aug. Daniel Ross (Macarthur Astronomical Society). Mars Landers: What Are They Up To?
Dr Andrew Jacob (Sydney University). Cepheid Variables: Interferometer Observations.
Oct. Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith (SKA Project Scientist). Massive Stars: Live Fast & Die Young.
Dr. Greg Madsen (Sydney University). How Does Our Galaxy Work?
No Meeting  ~





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