Dr Naomi McClure-GriffithsBiography
Astronomer Naomi McClure-Griffiths is a Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility. Her research has dramatically reshaped our knowledge of the structure and evolution of our galactic home Ð the Milky Way.NaomiÕs studies of the Milky Way over the past ten years have led to the discovery of a new spiral arm, and changed many long-held ideas about the evolution of our galaxy. She is now recognised internationally as an expert on the Milky Way.Naomi is now the Principal Investigator on the Galactic All Sky Survey, leading a team to create the most sensitive and high resolution all-sky atlas of hydrogen. She hopes one day to use the proposed Square Kilometre Array telescope to compare our galaxy with other galaxies.
We live in a hefty spiral-patterned galaxy called the Milky Way. Though we can all see the galaxy on a nightly basis, we know surprisingly little about our home. Some very important questions about the shape and structure of the Milky Way remained unanswered:
Exactly how big is the galaxy? Where is the Sun in relation to the Galactic Centre? If we could look at the Milky Way from above what would it look like and how many spiral arms would it have? How does the Milky Way evolve and how do we interact with our neighbours? I will take us on a walk around the Milky Way revealing what we do know about the structure of the galaxy and how gas in the galaxy leads to its evolution. I will also discuss what how we hope to learn in the next decade as new telescopes become available and help us solve the mysteries of our home.