In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, there is much talk about a new era in space exploration. Supported by public and private investment, new missions into space are being planned. Australia’s ‘Astronomer at Large’ with Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science Professor Fred Watson is discussing the opportunities and realities of this new era at the Newcastle Institute’s November Forum.


Fred Watson has had a ‘stellar’ career as an astronomer and researcher, including being Astronomer in Charge at the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Coonabarabran and working closely with Federal and State governments. He holds Professorships at multiple universities. He even has an asteroid named after him.  (He says won’t be his fault if it hits the earth!).

Moon missions are being undertaken by China, India, and other countries, while near space is being visited by private tourists, and becoming militarised. Human missions to Mars are being planned. Fred will discuss all these developments, as well as advances in our understanding of deep space – new planets beyond the solar system and discoveries of other galaxies. But Fred will also bring us back to earth, to explain, why, scientifically, we must accept “There is no planet B”. As a species, the planet we are on is our only home.

As a great communicator about science, Fred’s light-hearted, entertaining style makes the understanding of space accessible to all. He is the author of a number of science books aimed at a general audience, and features regularly on ABC radio.

This is the Newcastle Institute’s final public forum this year.

Professor Fred Watson AM, Australia’s ‘Astronomer at Large’

When? Wednesday November 13th  6.00pm -7.30pm

Where? Souths Leagues Club, Merewether 

Who?   Open to the general public. Members – entry is free; Non-members – Admission $10

Media Contact:- Rob Logan 0418 390033 or Ross Kerridge 0401522875

Space in the new era– The Dream and the Reality