We were honored to have Professor Tim Bedding of the University of Sydney, who is known for his work on asteroseismology – the study of stellar oscillations – as the speaker at our February Power Hour “Planets and Starquakes: Adventures of an Australian Astronomer” via a live video conference held at the Astor Ballroom of The St. Regis Macao.
Professor Bedding has worked in the University of Sydney’s School of Physics since 1995 and was the school’s head from 2012 to 2018. In 2007 he even had an asteroid named in his honor, 231470 Bedding. His main research interest is in stellar oscillations, which can help us learn more about stars, including their sizes and ages, as he noted in his talk.
One of the guests, University of Macau student Daniel Putra de Jesus, believes that everyone should be interested in astronomy and what happens in the universe.
“We are part of a planet in a solar system, which is part of a galaxy. On a bigger scale, we are part of the universe. What happens to our universe affects us no matter where we are on this planet,” he said.
Studying astronomy can open many career opportunities, Professor Bedding explained, even if it is not in astronomy itself. Many of his students didn’t pursue jobs in astronomy, rather following careers in data science in various fields, such as business and finance, which is one of the reasons this emerging field of science has become more attractive to students – including in Macau.
Stephen Berry, a member of AustCham Macau’s Board of Directors, said that China’s space programme has helped inspire locals’ interest in the fields of astronomy and space science over the past decade.
“With China’s space missions, there’s a lot of focus not just in this particular area of science but in astronomy in general. Space flights are becoming available in the private sector as well and this is spurring further interest. There’s a whole raft of things happening at the same time, which is quite exciting,” Berry underlined.
Professor Bedding ended his talk with more reasons to look up at the sky – for the next couple of days, if the weather is clear, we can look towards the west and see the planets Venus and Jupiter really close to each other at the moment; a beautiful sight to behold.
An elegant note to wrap up a starry night, and a very heartfelt thank you to our sponsor The St. Regis Macao for the fantastic venue, food, and drinks.