Contributed by Ross Berner (last updated 22 February 2023)
March 2023 Meeting on line using Zoom and live from the Ellery Suite at Melbourne Observatory, Birdwood Ave. Email to be sent to with details.
To ensure you get notified please update your profile on ASV website (in "Members Section" / "Email Lists" and toggle Cosmology section to "ON".
Cosmology & Astrophysics Discussion Group:
We usually meet on the 1st Wednesday each month from 8pm to 10:00pm in the Ellery Suite at Melbourne Observatory and on line using Zoom to discuss a Cosmology topic of the month, which includes a question and answer session around the table. (Topic is listed on Website week before meeting)
Members of all levels are welcome to attend and are encouraged to ask questions (if they wish).
Wednesday 1st March 2023 - "The Discovery of Pulsars"
Wednesday 5th April 2023
Wednesday 3rd May 2023
Wednesday 7th June 2023
Wednesday 5th July 2023
Wednesday 2nd August 2023
Wednesday 6th September 2023
Wednesday 4th October 2023
Wednesday 1st November 2023
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Wednesday 3rd January 2024
Wednesday 7th February 2024
Wednesday 6th March 2024
Wednesday 3rd April 2024
Wednesday 1st May 2024
Wednesday 5th June 2024
Wednesday 3rd July 2024
Topics for discussion generally are chosen from the following:
The Origin & Evolution of the Universe (The Big Bang, The Early Universe, The Expansion of the Universe & The Density of Matter in the Universe)
Formation & Structure of - Stars, Solar Systems , Our Solar System, Kuiper Belt Objects & Oort Cloud, Galaxies, Black Holes & Neutron Stars, Quasars & Super-Novae
Is there life elsewhere in Universe? Extra-solar Planets, The Drake Equation, Possible Life in our Solar System, The Formation & Evolution of Life on Earth & Mass Extinctions (Cosmic Impacts)
The discussion topics are based on published Scientific & Astronomical articles, both magazine & digital sources. They are descriptive in approach. No Formulas!
The Five Ages of the Universe (Inside the Physics of Eternity) by Fred Adams & Greg Laughlin. Free Press 1999. Discusses the Evolution of the Universe from the Big Bang to its Conclusion. Book is a good read even for someone with a modest knowledge of Cosmology.
Just Six Numbers (The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe) by (Sir) Martin Rees. Science Masters 2001. Sir Martin is Astronomer Royal and Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge. In this book he discuss the forces that shape our Universe and enable life.
The Last Three Minutes by Paul Davies. Science Masters 1994. Paul lives in Australia and is the author of many books. In this book, he discusses the fate of the Universe from beginning to end. 11 years is a long time in Cosmology (research), and the book discusses some concepts which today are not considered likely - such as The Big Crunch, but it is still good for background.
About Time (Einstein's Unfinished Revolution) by Paul Davies. Viking 1995. Covers aspects of Time in Relativity, Quantum Mechanics & Cosmology. Discusses the "Arrow of Time", Black Holes and even how humans perceive time.
The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene. Vintage 2011. This is the 3rd book by Greene, which is more readable than his first 2. This book tackles all the different theories of Multiple Universes. It is a fascinating, and head spinning read.
The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. Vintage 1999. Considered the "bible" on String Theory, the theory which is considered the best candidate to "unite" Modern Physics. It is a difficult book for all but the experienced to read. The early chapters cover Relativity & Quantum Mechanics. It has also been released on Video, which is worth a look as it animates the illustrations in the book.
The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene Penguin Popular Science 2004 2nd book by Greene covers similar content to first book but has particular emphasis on the spacetime and cosmology. Includes discussion on how our perception of time & space has changed as physical theory has changed
The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene Vintage 2011 Latest book by Greene looks at at the many different theories of Parallel Universes. It refers back to his earlier books in places.
The Magic Furnace The Search for the Origins of Atoms by Marcus Chown Random House 1999 Follows the journey of discovery finding out what atoms are and what they are made of and how they are made in Stars. Book is very easy to read even if reader has little scientific knowledge.
A Brief History of Time (From the Big Bang to Black Holes) by Stephen W. Hawking 1988 + revised edition 1998 A classic on Time, The Universe and Black Holes, from the leading authority on Black Holes.
Extreme Cosmos by Brian Gaensler University of New South Wales 2011 Easy and fun book to read, looks at range of extremes in the Universe of temperature, light, time, size, speed, mass, sound, electricity & magnetism, gravity & density