SAO E-zine: December 2006

Welcome to the first SAO e-zine! We plan on producing two newsletters a year to keep the SAO community (current students, instructors, alumni and future members of the SAO family - prospective students) up to date with the latest SAO news. In this edition we'll be featuring Masters student Anousheh Ansari who recently visited the International Space Station. In our "Meet the Instructor" section, well be introducing one of our newest SAO instructors, Dr Chris Blake, who recently joined the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing. Our "SAO Research Highlights" features the exciting e-VLBI results of one of our project supervisors (who also happens to be an SAO alumni), Emil Lenc.

Generally we only get to meet a few SAO students who come to Melbourne for their graduation ceremony. These events are fantastic occasions for all involved - the students finally get to meet their "faceless" instructors, and the SAO team finally gets to meet some of our incredibly interesting students and their families. We understand that not everyone can afford the cost and/or time to come to Melbourne for their graduation, so we'd like to try and organise an annual "SAO-fest". We hope to organise a gathering in the USA in 2007 and another in Australia in 2008 (to coincide with Swinburne's centenary), and hopefully a third gathering in Europe in 2009. Stay tuned for details.

If you can't wait for an official SAO gathering, you might like to visit the SAO booth at the January 2007 joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in Seattle, USA. If you're in the neighbourhood from 5-10 January, please drop by and say hello.

And if you can't make it in person, visit our new SAO website! We've totally reorganised the website as well as given it a new look. Hopefully information will be easier to find and the new site is more pleasing to the eye ;) Visit

We hope you enjoy our new e-zine and we look forward to your contributions.

Sarah and Glen.

Dr Sarah Maddison, SAO Course Coordinator
Dr Glen Mackie, SAO Assistant Coordinator