I would like to share some important and exciting news with you. MBO is piloting a diversity toolkit from the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). This toolkit is a comprehensive resource guide about actively promoting and developing a framework for diversity and inclusion. Although aimed at small and medium science and technology businesses, there is a wealth of information applicable to MBO. There are useful templates about developing diversity, inclusion and discrimination and harassment policies. There are suggestions for fostering a positive culture, increasing accessibility and leading by example. The toolkit has resources on developing a reconciliation action plan, mentoring and establishing a complaints process. ATSE was keen for MBO to pilot the diversity toolkit. We will provide valuable feedback as a volunteer lead organisation. ATSE will also assist MBO to implement diverse and accessible policies and strategies. This toolkit and the assistance ATSE is going to provide will be a huge asset to MBO. Having a diverse and inclusive workplace is linked to increased productivity and performance, engagement and retention. As a committee member, I am very pleased to see the latest new members list. I am sure the new members represents a diverse range of backgrounds. MBO’s culture is to welcome all people, no matter what your background, gender identity or sexual orientation is. I believe that MBO can truly lead the way at being the most diverse and welcoming astronomical society in Australia. I look forward to meeting the new members either in person or online. If you want to get involved in implementing the ATSE toolkit, please contact me at email@example.com or join the discussion below. Saskia Hunter, committee member
MBO was honoured to have the first PhD student to graduate from the observatory back when Monash University ran it, Dr Len Halprin, come back and pay a visit – with his current students from Sandringham College. “It’s like coming full circle,” he commented. He graduated around the time the old wooden 16″ telescope was changed over to the current 18″ metal-tubed one that now sits in the big Monash dome in the mid 1980’s, so he is not familiar with that telescope, but he was able to tell us lots about the early days of the the observatory, and about using the old photometer he used to do his work (which he can be seen holding in the photo), and how they set things up. He was also pleased to see the new concrete pathways we have installed, no more sloshing through the mud in winter! Thanks for the visit and all the information, Len. We plan to feature the photometer in a museum display of old equipment in the lower half of the dome in the near future.
As part of the 100thAnniversary celebrations of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) every country in the world is being given the chance to name their own star and an orbiting exoplanet. This is the IAU100 Name ExoWorlds project. The star chosen for Australia to name is currently known by its catalogue number HD 38283. It is a 7thmagnitude yellow-white dwarf star in the constellation of Mensa, the Table Mountain. At that magnitude, this star is not visible to the unaided eye. Mensa contains part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) within its boundaries, which is the largest satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way, but HD 38283 is definitely within the Milky Way, lying only 125 light years away. By comparison the LMC is 180,000 light years distant. Mensa is named after Table Mountain at the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa. The misty star cloud of the LMC is reminiscent of the cloud that often sits atop the real mountain at the cape. The exoplanet, currently designated HD 38283 b, is a gas giant type planet with 0.4 times the mass of Jupiter. It orbits the star at roughly the same distance as the Earth does the Sun (1.02 AU) and in 363.2 Earth days. There are several rules to be considered in naming the star and exoplanet, and these can be accessed via the competition website. Since it is also the International Year of Indigenous Languages, speakers of Australian Indigenous languages are encouraged to submit names. Website: name-exoplanet.net.au Contact Information: James Murray firstname.lastname@example.org m: 0409703929
Two days, thousands of people, lots of very loud planes… and MBO! Our team of Jacquie, Peter, Romy and Tony did a wonderful job over the two days. MBO was invited by the State Government to join their pavilion and what an opportunity to showcase what we do best! James
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