Online conference: Galaxies and stars

Today, Thursday 19th August, we have had the 3rd online #scicomm event that SRAP-IEAP is organising in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes de Sídney for Australia’s National Science Week 2021.

In this case it was a trip to the Universe! The host was our member, the astrophysicist and science communicator Dr. Ángel R. López-Sánchez (Australian Astronomical Optics, Macquarie University) who took us to visit the planets of the Solar System, star clusters and nebulae in our Milky Way, and near and distant galaxies, to understand the deep connection that we have with the Cosmos and how unique our Planet Earth is.

The full video of the online talk is available on the YouTube channel of the Instituto Cervantes de Sídney.

However, Ángel had some few surprises for us. As he is both a professional astrophysicist and an amateur astronomer he prepared his telescope in the backyard and he shared with the audience live views of the Moon and the Lagoon Nebula as they were taken live with the telescope.

Ángel López-Sánchez with his telescope showing the night sky during the online event.

The Moon as it was taken live during the online event.

A short 10 seconds exposure of the Lagoon Nebula showing the glowing gas (hydrogen-alpha emission) taken live during the online event.

Everyone enjoyed the event and the beautiful presentation that Ángel gave, that was followed by a Q&A session with a very engaging virtual audience.


About Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Macquarie University (MQ) in Sydney (NSW, Australia). His research is focused in the analysis of star formation phenomena in galaxies of the Local Universe, especially in dwarf starbursts and spiral galaxies, using multi-wavelength (UV, optical, IR, radio) data. He presented his PhD Thesis at University of La Laguna and the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 2006. In 2007 he joined CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney) with a postdoctoral position. He then joined the AAO (formerly the Australian Astronomical Observatory) and MQ in 2011. In July 2018 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at AAO-MQ. He has been providing instrument and observing support at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT, Siding Spring Observatory, NSW) since 2011, being the instrument scientist of several instruments: the multi-fiber spectrograph 2dF+AAOmega and the near-infrared imager and spectrograph IRIS2. He also has large experience with integral-field spectroscopy (IFS), being a very active member of the SAMI collaboration at the AAT and part of the HECTOR Science Team. He currently is the Instrument Scientist of KOALA+AAOmega at the AAT, and leads the international astronomy survey "HI KOALA IFS Dwarf and irregular galaxy Survey" (Hi-KIDS), that is getting unique, high-quality IFS data of a sample of 100 nearby dwarf and irregular galaxies for which 21cm H I interferometric data is available He has large experience teaching undergraduate and PhD students and giving lectures and classes about Astronomy. Dr. López-Sánchez is passionate science communicator who continuously gives talks and public lectures, writes popular science articles and organizes science communication events and stargazing activities. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.