Posted on Aug 17, 2017
 
 
Dr Schwartz shared several aspects around his research interests in exploring the understanding of basic phenomena in the building blocks of the universe.
 
These included what can be seen and, more recently, heard in the southern night sky. From viewing known stars like the Southern Cross with the human eye, through to telescopic views of the cosmos from space in combination with sound forms such as gravitational waves to distinguish between star light and exoplanet light to gain understanding of how new planets and solar systems are formed.
 
Dr Schwartz then went on to explain several ways and means that new planets and solar systems can be discovered using technological advances such as pulsar timing, gravitational lensing and imaging to track down possible habitable planets.
 
The ‘holy grail’ outcome of this type of research would be to detect Earth-like exoplanets and ultimately detect life on an exoplanet. We will have to wait and see with the launch of newer and more sensitive space telescopes and technological advances in data collection. It is an immense job to collect all the information needed for these discoveries.
 
For further interest, Dr Schwartz recommended the website www.planethunters.org and a visit to Mt. John Observatory in Canterbury.
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