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The first rung on the cosmic distance ladder
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Stories from those working behind the scenes on the biggest discovery of the year
Photographing a black hole
A story of overcoming differences between people and telescopes
Concealing the Cosmos
Why light pollution makes it difficult for astronomers to observe on location
What Is This?
Astronomers discover mysterious star displaying never-seen-before behaviour
13 of our favourite astronomical photos
Sharing Your ESO Pictures with the world
Searching for hints of life around the Sun’s galactic twins
Contacts and Bio
Dr. Stuart Ryder
Program Manager, Astronomy Australia Limited
P.O. Box 2100,
Hawthorn, VIC 3122,
Stuart Ryder is based in Sydney, Australia and works for Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) as a Program Manager supporting Australia’s engagement with ESO. AAL is a not-for-profit company that aims to provide Australian astronomers with access to world-class national and international astronomy research infrastructure.
Stuart holds a PhD in astrophysics from the Australian National University. His research focuses on the discovery and evolution of core-collapse supernovae, as well as identifying their progenitor stars. Before joining AAL in 2018, Stuart managed the Australian Astronomical Observatory’s International Telescopes Support Office, coordinating Australian access to telescopes including Gemini, Magellan, Keck, and Subaru.
Stuart is also an Adjunct Fellow with Macquarie University. He regularly participates in outreach activities, and has led total solar eclipse viewing expeditions to Mexico, Chile, Mongolia, the Caribbean, Turkey, China, Australia, and the USA.
Dr. Tanya Hill
Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks
GPO Box 666,
Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia
Public Phone Number: +61 400 130 675
Dr Tanya Hill has been the Astronomer for the Melbourne Planetarium since it opened at Scienceworks in 1999. She holds a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Sydney, where she searched for supermassive black holes within a sample of 25 galaxies. For her research, she has used a range of Australian telescopes including the Anglo-Australian Telescope, the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Radio Telescope, and NASA’s Tidbinbilla Radio Telescope located in the ACT. While studying for her PhD, Tanya also worked as a Guide Lecturer at Sydney Observatory, which ignited her passion for science communication. She has produced more than a dozen planetarium shows and Melbourne Planetarium productions can now be seen across 15 countries around the world. One of her favourites is Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown which draws together research from her postgraduate studies to bring to life all that is fascinating and extreme in the world black holes.
Dr. Mita Brierley
Project Officer, Astronomy Australia Limited
P.O. Box 2100,
Hawthorn, VIC 3122,
Mita Brierley is based in Melbourne, Australia and works for Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) as their Project Officer. AAL is a not-for-profit company that aims to provide Australian astronomers with access to world-class national and international astronomy research infrastructure.
Mita holds a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where her research focused on determining global properties of extra-galactic globular clusters, which can be used as tracers for galactic evolution. Mita has been interested in astronomy and astronomy outreach from a very young age. Her first job during high-school was as a planetarium presenter and telescope operator at the Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate years, she was heavily involved in a wide range of outreach activities: from running public telescope-viewing sessions, to giving talks and running activity sessions at primary and secondary schools, to presenting public lectures to general audiences. After completing her PhD, she continued at the University of Canterbury as a lecturer in undergraduate physics and astronomy until her move to Australia in 2011.
About the ESO Science Outreach Network
The ESO education and Public Outreach Department has established a network of contacts in the ESO Member states and other countries. The goal of this ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON) is to act locally as ESO's media and outreach representative, in order to promote ESO's mission and achievements, and demonstrate the many inspirational aspects of astronomy.
More information about ESON is available on: ESO Science Outreach Network