Astrolight Festival Program

AstroLight Festival

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Details Location Time
Interactive activities: Get hands-on and explore the science of light and astronomy with activities for people of all ages. Back by popular demand, the crazy laser maze: green laser beams and smoke machines that test your limbs and limits! Pumping Station 6pm–10pm
Eye-opening optics activities and displays with organisations such as the Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics. Lower Ground Floor 6pm–10pm

Art installations

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Interact with the Stellarsphere, a giant living, breathing light bubble by studio Eness, studded with custom LED disks that shine like stars inside and out. Arena 6pm–10pm
Student showcase: Deakin University's Daniel Armstrong and Art in Science students showcase an array of astronomy-inspired 2D, 3D and projection works. Welcome Room 6pm–10pm

Light In Space: Bathe in the light of works by Veronica Caven Aldous that reference natural light phenomenon such as sunrises, sunsets and the night sky.

Planetarium Foyer 6pm–10pm

Un/determined De/vices: Reflect upon a world inspired by the polarisation of light and birefringence, created by Skunk Control.

Pumping Station – Engine Room


Talks & panel sessions

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Glimpse the Invisible: Join Sean Elliott as he explores how science can see the Invisible. Be ready to get involved in this funny and interactive performance!

CAASTRO Amphitheatre 6.30pm–7pm

Kitchen Cosmology: If you thought Cosmology was explained using Einstein's General Relativity, think again. Dr Chris Lassig takes us through the history of the universe using food, a bit of cooking and a whole lot of fun!

CAASTRO Amphitheatre 7.15pm–7.45pm

NASA Astronaut: Find out what it's like to spend 55 days in space with NASA Astronaut, Marsha Ivins.

CAASTRO Amphitheatre 8pm–8.30pm

Dark Skies Panel: Join this panel discussion on why Dark Skies are so important from urban planning, biological health and astronomy.

Urban planning - light, Margaret Grose
Astronomy, Judith Bailey
Circadian Rhythms, Dr Theresa Jones
Moderator: Adam Carey

CAASTRO Amphitheatre 8.45pm–9.15pm

Dark Matter and Q&A: Come and talk to Dr Katie Mack about that elusive stuff, Dark Matter. It consists of 75% of known matter in the Universe and we don't know what it is!

CAASTRO Amphitheatre 9.30pm–10pm

Using Synchrotron Light to investigate the solar system: How do you investigate the planets in the Solar System here on Earth? Let Dr Helen Brand shed some light on the topic for you!

The darker side of lighting the night: Dr Theresa Jones will give an enlightening talk on the effect of night lighting on behaviour, physiology and sleep based on her research at the University of Melbourne.

Energy Lab 6.30pm–7pm

Astronomy at 80 below: Dr Christian Reichardt explains how we are looking at the origins of the Universe at one of the coldest places on Earth, Antarctica.

Indigenous astronomy: Our Indigenous people are thought to be some of the earliest astronomers. Dr Duane Hamacher talks to us about how we are losing this culture due to the loss of our dark skies.

Energy Lab 7.15pm–7.45pm

Treating blindness with Bionics: Following on from the great Australian invention, the Cochlear Ear Implant, hear about the next stage in current medical bionics, The Bionic Eye. This talk by Dr David Garret is guaranteed to put not only stars in your eyes, but diamonds too!

Nanoscale Astronomy: Prof Andrew Greentree will delve down into the nanospace to talk about his bioimaging work and the astronomy techniques that inspired it.

Energy Lab 8pm–8.30pm

Hunting for the first galaxies in the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope: Come and find out about the galaxies populating our Universe and head back in time as Dr Michele Trenti talks about the hunt for the first every galaxies formed.

Art of Astronomy: Astronomy and art have been synonymous throughout history. Daniel Armstrong will introduce you to the modern astronomical art and how light can play a huge role.

Energy Lab 8.45pm–9.15pm

Light Fantastic: Dr Tanya Hill will explain how almost everything we know about astronomy is due to light – waiting for light to travel across the universe to telescopes and then the different ways we investigate the light to learn more.

Exploring the Universe with Metal Spiders in the Desert: Make sure you have a look at the radio telescope on the arena and then head to Dr Ben McKinley's talk to find out what those spiders really do!

Science Stage 6.30pm–7pm

Fluro-fish and the secrets of regeneration: Join Celia Vandestadt in a discovery of microscopes and fluorescent glow-in-the-dark magic to learn how scientists are using light to unlock the secrets of regeneration. Walking past the fish tanks at the pet shop will never be the same again.

Fluorescence: A journey from glowing corals to the latest TV technology Fluorescence allows corals to change their colour, enhances the colours of your new TV and has revolutionised several fields of science. Dr Philipp Reineck will talk about what fluorescence is and how it is used by nature and in modern technology.

Science Stage 7.15pm–7.45pm

Astronomy education: Join Dr Michael Fitzgerald to discover our place in space - the solar system in which we live.

Science Fiction Science Fact - Laser combat in movies: Join Prof Brant Gibson as he unpacks the myths of lasers in the movies and gives a little insight into the magic of lasers.

Science Stage 8pm–8.30pm

Fluorescent Proteins - From Nature to the Lab: Fluorescent proteins, derived from animals and plants, can be used to study biology at the molecular level. Join Emma Wilson to find out how and what that means to our knowledge of the existence of life.

How to Catch a Shadow: Join amateur astronomer, Jacquie Milner, as she relates her story about how she helped in the New Horizons Pluto mission from her backyard in Melbourne.

Science Stage 8.45pm–9.15pm


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Stargaze like never before with a field full of telescopes and models such as the Murchison Wide Field Array. Astronomical experts bring the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus direct to you (weather permitting). Arena 6pm–10pm

Mini expo

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Connect with the latest research and initiatives of Victoria's astro and optics societies, citizen-science groups and universities, with info stalls and specialists onsite to answer you every query. Entrance & Lower Ground Floor 6pm–10pm

Food, Bar & Shop

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Food trucks with intergalactic offering complement delicious onsite cafe options and rocket-fuel at the Luna bar. Stock up at the shop on freeze-dried astronaut food or junior NASA suits for your next mission. Multiple sites across Scienceworks 6pm–10pm

Shows & workshops

Details Location Time

Capturing the Cosmos - SOLD OUT

Explore the entire southern sky with a full-dome Planetarium show Capturing the Cosmos for an extra $4. Narrated by award-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, this show highlights the incredible data being captured by telescopes such as SkyMapper and the Murchison Wide-field Array.

By surveying large sections of the sky, these telescopes are finding things we've never seen before to help us better understand or universe.

Best for ages 8+

Planetarium 6.30pm, 7.15pm, 8pm, 8.45pm, 9.30pm

Lightning Room Revealed - SOLD OUT

Lightning strikes all night! Experience the power of two-million volts from the giant Tesla Coil in our Lightning Room for an extra $4.

This electrifying 15-minute show includes a Van de Graaff generator, a Jacob's ladder and three metre bolts of lightning!

Due to the awesome sparks and noise of our high voltage demonstrations, the Lightning Room is not recommended for young children and babies.

Suitable for ages 6+

Lightning Room 6.30pm, 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 9.30pm

LED wearables workshop

Dazzle the night with your own glowing LED wearable created in a workshop for an extra $10.

Get the electronic know-how to use conductive thread, LEDs, batteries and simple switches to construct your own wrist band or brooch.

Strictly limited to children 10+ and adults. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Get tickets

Test Lab 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm