Life, the universe and everything

An image of the sun. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory.

An image of the sun. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Fans of astrophysics will be treated to a short history of how the Earth and Sun were formed, how life began and how it will all end with the death of our Sun, at a public lecture next week.

Associate Professor Charley Lineweaver, of the Planetary Science Institute at the Australian National University, will provide the ultimate 'big picture' introduction when he delivers the Harley Wood Lecture, presented by the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) and hosted by the Monash Centre for Astrophysics (MoCA).

The lecture is part of the ASA's Annual General Meeting, to be held at Monash University from 7 - 12 July 2013.

MoCA regularly hosts free talks featuring top astrophysics researchers who explain the mysteries of space to interested members of the public. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions following the talks.

Associate Professor Lineweaver will explain how the second law of thermodynamics, which explains how energy of all kinds disperses, is related to how the earth and life on it, came to exist and where we Earthlings fit in the Universe.

MoCA's Dr Simon Campbell said the lecture would be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered about the nature of the Universe and our place in it.

"We are fortunate to have such a great astrophysicist and public speaker delivering this free seminar at Monash – this is one not to miss," Dr Campbell said.

Associate Professor Lineweaver's research involves the analysis of the statistical distribution of exoplanets, the cosmic microwave background radiation, and cosmological prerequisites for the formation of terrestrial planets and life. He has degrees in English, History and Physics and has worked with Nobel Laureate George Smoot. He also appears regularly on TV and radio.

Associate Professor Charley Lineweaver will present, "The Birth, Life and Death of our Planet... and of the Universe" at 7.30pm 9 July 2013 at Central 1 Theatre (Building 63), Monash University, Clayton campus.

No registration is necessary. More information is available at the MoCA website.