Ayers Rock Resort

Uluru Astronomy Weekend 22-24 August 2014

Dr Karl

Celebrating the vast outback night sky and designed for astronomy enthusiasts of all ages, Ayers Rock Resort, in partnership with the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), will play host to the Uluru Astronomy Weekend as a fitting close to National Science Week.

Hosted by popular scientific personality and celebrated author Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, along with some of the world's leading experts, this enlightening weekend will include engaging discussions on astro-statistics and the structure of the cosmos, fun family activities and demonstrations, an exciting Galaxy Star Ball and more.

CAASTRO

The weekend will provide those already familiar with the night sky a fantastic opportunity to gain new insights, while those new to studying the cosmos will be inspired with an engaging introduction to astronomy.

Entry: FREE | charges apply for dining events and Outback Sky Journeys

ASTRONOMY EVENTS SCHEDULE | ASTRONOMER BIOS

Download Uluru Astronomy Weekend Event Flier

Click here to download PDF fact sheetUluru Astronomy Weekend Event Schedule (PDF)

SPECIAL OFFER

2 NIGHTS from$272*per person twin share
3 NIGHTS from$357*per person twin share

Accommodation Packages Include:

  • Accommodation
  • Free access to Uluru Astronomy Weekend Events (excludes Signature Events and Outback Sky Journeys)
  • An Indigenous activities program including cultural dance performance, guided garden walk, spear & boomerang throwing and Indigenous story telling experience
  • Return Ayers Rock Airport transfers to your hotel
  • Free use of Ayers Rock Resort shuttle bus service
  • Children 15 years and under stay using existing bedding including breakfast^
  • Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points**

Click here for full accommodation package details & pricing

DISCOUNT DINING PACKAGE OFFER

Take advantage of the Astronomy Weekend Special Dining Package including Stellar Sounds of Silence, Panel Predictions with Buffet Lunch and Galaxy Star Ball for $320 per person - normally $365 per person.

DAY 1 - FRIDAY 22 AUGUST

Uluru Night
Sunset Feast
Star Gazer
Family Star Gazing
Satellite Marketplace

1pm-4:30pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Foyer)

Market stalls providing event information, books, T-Shirts, dining event bookings and other fun merchandise.

Weekend Lift Off Event + Inma Welcome to Country

3pm-3:25pm| Amphitheatre

Hosted by Dr Karl, have your interest ignited with a 5 minute teaser talk from each guest astronomer. Enjoy a brief overview of the weekend's activities, before the senior Anangu men and women offer you the privilege to share in a traditional Inma dance.

How did the universe begin?

3:30pm-4:30pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 1)
Astronomer: Professor Rachel Webster

How did the universe begin? Is there life somewhere else in the universe? In this engaging discussion, Rachel traces the history of the universe and while she may not have a definitive answer about extra-terrestrial life, she will describe recent attempts to find other planets that might host life as we know it.

The Vast Array of the MWA Telescope

3-30pm-4:30pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 2)
Astronomer: Professor Steven Tingay

Professor Tingay will discuss a new radio telescope built in remote Western Australia - the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and deliver an insightful overview on what the MWA is teaching us about the Universe and how it will blaze a path for future telescopes.

Hands On Astronomy: Family

3-30pm-4:30pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 2)

This fun, friendly and informative discussion is ideal for families with children 10 years and over. Your kids will be enthralled as our resident star talker gives an introduction to the wonders of Astronomy. Children must be accompanied by adults.

Sounds Of Silence
Stellar Sounds of Silence - Signature Event

5:40pm-11:00pm | Outdoor Dining Sites (Pick Up from Hotel)
Cost: Adult $195 |Child $96 (10-15 years)
Children 9 years and under are not catered for.
Bookings essential.

As the sun sets over Uluru, enjoy canaps and chilled sparkling wine and, as darkness falls, join your table of fellow travellers for an unforgettable dining experience, accompanied by a traditional Aboriginal dance performance under the outback sky.

Our attentive staff will keep your glass full with a quality selection of Australian wine and beers while your first course is served.

Enjoy a bush tucker inspired buffet, then settle back and listen to Dr Karl and guest astronomers as they decode the southern night sky. After a stargazing experience, your evening will end with an aperitif under the stunning Milky Way.

 
Outback Sky Journeys: Family Astro Tour

7:10pm-8:10pm | Star Talker Site (Meet at Town Square)
Cost: Adult $40.50 | Children under 15 years attend free

This family friendly star gazing tour is designed for people of all ages with limited knowledge of the night sky but have an appreciation of its beauty. This engaging tour, broken into three segments - the past, the present and the future - is not to be missed.

Outback Sky Journeys: Astro Tour

8:25pm-9:40pm | Star Talker Site (Meet at Town Square)
Cost: Adult $40.50 | Children under 15 years attend free

This star gazing tour will take you on a fact finding journey through the southern night sky, enhancing your knowledge on astronomy and its beginnings. Let our resident astronomer guide you through the evolution of the Universe. Explore the vast night landscape with telescopes, binoculars and iPads, learn how stars are formed, why they produce light, the theory of "the Big Bang" and much more.

Dark Cosmos

Midnight 12am | Star Talker Site (Meet at Town Square)
Astronomer: Professor Rachel Webster

For the super-enthusiasts meet for a midnight exchange with Rachel Webster. As you sit back, kept warm with a delicious hot chocolate, your attention is turned to the dark cosmos as Rachel reveals the impact dark energy and dark matter have on our cosmos and our universe, both of which are gaining increased interest in the world of astronomy.

DAY 2 - SATURDAY 23 AUGUST

Uluru
Uluru
Satellite Marketplace

1pm-3:30pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Foyer)

Market stalls providing event information, books, T-Shirts, dining event bookings and other fun merchandise.

Extreme Cosmos

10:30am-11:30am | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 1)
Astronomer: Professor Bryan Gaensler

We all love it when a world record is broken, but what about records of our vast cosmos? What's the coldest place in space? What's the fastest object in the Universe? Join astronomer Bryan Gaensler for a tour into the extremes of our amazing Universe.

Hands On Astronomy: Dr Karl & Professor Steven Tingay

10:30am-11:30pm | Amphitheatre

An event not to be missed, join this captivating discussion as Dr Karl interviews Dr Professor Steven Tingay about the Murchison Widefield Array Radio Telescope Project, and discovers wonders of the MWA Tool. Suitable for 12 years and over.

Dining
Panel Predictions with Buffet Lunch - Signature Event

12:00pm-1:45pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Tjungu Ballroom)
Cost: Adult $45 | Child $22.50 (10-15 years)
Children under 9 years attend free

While you sit back and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, be entertained with a panel discussion by MC Dr Karl and our guest astronomers, focusing on those burning astronomical questions: What will be the next big thing in Astronomy? What is the next astronomical mystery to be solved?

Night Feast
Explorers
Sounds Of Silence
Star Searching
 
How did the universe begin?

2:00pm-3:00pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 1)
Astronomer: Professor Rachel Webster

How did the universe begin? Is there life somewhere else in the universe? In this engaging discussion, Rachel traces the history of the universe and while she may not have a definitive answer about extra-terrestrial life, she will describe recent attempts to find other planets that might host life as we know it.

The Vast Array of the MWA Telescope

2:00pm-3:00pm | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 2)
Astronomer: Professor Steven Tingay

Professor Tingay will discuss a new radio telescope built in remote Western Australia - the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and deliver an insightful overview on what the MWA is teaching us about the Universe and how it will blaze a path for future telescopes.

Hands On Astronomy: Family

2:00pm-3:00pm | Amphitheatre

This fun, friendly and informative discussion is ideal for families with children 10 years and over. Your kids will be enthralled as our resident star talker gives an introduction to the wonders of Astronomy. Children must be accompanied by adults.

Outback Sky Journeys: Family Astro Tour

7:10pm-8:10pm | Star Talker Site (Meet at Town Square)
Cost: Adult $40.50 | Children under 15 years attend free

This family friendly star gazing tour is designed for people of all ages with limited knowledge of the night sky but have an appreciation of its beauty. This engaging tour, broken into three segments - the past, the present and the future - is not to be missed.

Outback Sky Journeys: Astro Tour

8:25pm-9:40pm | Star Talker Site (Meet at Town Square)
Cost: Adult $40.50 | Children under 15 years attend free

This star gazing tour will take you on a fact finding journey through the southern night sky, enhancing your knowledge on astronomy and its beginnings. Let our resident astronomer guide you through the evolution of the Universe. Explore the vast night landscape with telescopes, binoculars and iPads, learn how stars are formed, why they produce light, the theory of "the Big Bang" and much more.

Galaxy Star Ball - Signature Event

7:30pm-midnight | Uluru Meeting Place (Tjungu Ballroom)
Cost: Adult $125 | caters for 18 years and over only

Studio 54 orbits and lands in the Uluru Meeting Place. Dress up in your best space disco outfits and attend the most glamorous ball in town.
Enjoy a selection of canaps and drinks upon your arrival, followed by an entre of antipasto, a mouth-watering main course and a chef's selection of desserts and cheese platters.

After you're led on scientific journey with infectiously enthusiastic MC Dr. Karl, your evening culminates with space themed entertainment, as a DJ and vocalist cover songs from 'Stars on 45' to a spectacular dance version of 'Dark Side of the Moon.' Set to be a star studded affair, this is an event not to be missed.

 

DAY 3 - SUNDAY 24 AUGUST

Extreme Cosmos

8:45am-9:45am | Uluru Meeting Place (Wanari Room 1)
Astronomer: Bryan Gaensler

We all love it when a world record is broken, but what about records of our vast cosmos? What's the coldest place in space? What's the fastest object in the Universe? Join astronomer Bryan Gaensler for a tour into the extremes of our amazing Universe.

MEET YOUR HOST FOR THE WEEKEND

Mark Olive

Dr Karl. His presentations Great Moments in Science celebrate all sides of science; from sublime moments of deep thought to the most arcane and bizarre research imaginable. The universe is a strange and wonderful place and, in his Great Moments, Karl has scaled the highest peaks as well as turned over the pebbles to see what's underneath. Karl made his TV debut in 1985 as the presenter of the first series of Quantum, while today Karl popularises science on ABC radio stations across Australia and, on the BBC, for several hours each week.

MEET THE ASTRONOMERS

Bryan Gaensler

Professor Bryan Gaensler. Former Young Australian of the Year and author of the popular science book "Extreme Cosmos", Bryan Gaensler studies interstellar magnets and cosmic explosions. His main research interests are cosmic magnetism, wide-field astronomy, polarimetry, time-domain astrophysics, interstellar turbulence, neutron stars and the Square Kilometre Array. Bryan is an astronomer at The University of Sydney and Director of the Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).

Ray Norris

Professor Ray Norris. Former Deputy Director of the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, Ray Norris uses large radio surveys to understand the origin and evolution of galaxies. He is also well known for his work on Aboriginal Astronomy, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. His work has featured in many radio and TV programs, including ABC TV's "Message Stick" and ABC Radio National's "The First Astronomers". In 2009 he featured in a two-man The First Astronomers show with Wardaman elder Bill Yidumduma Harney at the Darwin Festival and other arts festivals.

Steven Tingay

Professor Steven Tingay. At the age of six, Professor Steven Tingay got his first telescope. Today, he's the Director of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) project, a low-frequency radio telescope worth $50-million.Steven is also a key contributor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, which will help mankind look further into space than ever before. Steven seeks out experiments that are difficult and risky, but potentially have high rewards. A spokesperson for the value of science in society, he was recently awarded the inaugural Science Ambassador of the Year at the 2012 WA Science Awards.

Rachael Webster

Professor Rachel Webster. As Head of the Astrophysics group at the University of Melbourne, Professor Webster has been influential in astronomy for more than two decades. Her team have recently been awarded telescope time on the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gemini Telescopes in Hawaii and Chile and the MWA in WA where they are searching to find the first stars in the universe, to find and measure dark matter haloes around galaxies, and to measure the incredibly small sizes of quasar emission regions.

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