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Michael J. I. Brown

Michael J. I. Brown

Associate professor, Monash University
I am an observational astronomer, studying how galaxies evolve over billions of years.

I was born and raised in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs. My interest in astronomy began as a child, when the Voyager spacecraft visited the outer planets. I undertook my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne during the 1990s. For my PhD, I used (now antiquated) photographic plates to identify thousands of galaxies and measure their distribution in space.

In 2000 I joined the staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and started working on surveys of the distant Universe with large ground-based telescopes and satellites. In 2004 I was awarded Princeton University’s Henry Norris Russell Fellowship, and studied the growth of the most massive galaxies. Using thousands of galaxies in the constellation of Bootes, I found that the most massive galaxies have grown slowly over the past seven billion years, which is almost certainly due to mergers of galaxies.

Since 2007 I have been at Monash University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. I am measuring spectra of galaxies across the electromagnetic spectrum, which is useful for measuring the distances to galaxies, the luminosities of galaxies and how rapidly galaxies form stars. I am also using large astronomical surveys to measure how rapidly galaxies are growing, and how this growth compares to the growth of dark matter halos.

Looking at the universe through very different 'eyes'

Jan 22, 2018 11:39 am UTC| Insights & Views Science

We are bathed in starlight. During the day we see the Sun, light reflected off the surface of the Earth and blue sunlight scattered by the air. At night we see the stars, as well as sunlight reflected off the Moon and the...

Space Science Series

We can learn a lot from the changing night sky

Jan 07, 2017 01:10 am UTC| Science

You cannot feel or hear the world turning. It does not rumble through space. But you can see it turn with your own eyes every day and night. And, with patience, you can see Earth travel around the Sun. As the globe...

How to quickly spot dodgy science

Jan 04, 2017 05:00 am UTC| Science

I havent got time for science, or at least not all of it. I cannot read 19,000 astrophysics papers every year. No way. And I have little patience for bad science, which gets more media attention than it deserves. Even...

Trump has embraced pseudoscience and its deceptive tactics in a post-truth world

Dec 12, 2016 09:30 am UTC| Science Politics

As a scientist, I expect the Trump presidency to have a curious familiarity. Why? Because the relentless stream of falsehoods and character attacks of Trumps campaign mainstreamed disinformation tactics that biologists,...

Space Science Series

Less secrecy could help astronomy stop the bullying and harassment within its ranks

Nov 23, 2016 03:00 am UTC| Insights & Views Science

Shocking allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual assault at CSIROs Astronomy and Space Sciences (CASS) division were revealed on Sunday by the ABCs Background Briefing program. In CASS alone, the Radio National...

UFOs, climate change and missing airliners: how to separate fact from fiction

Jun 20, 2016 06:47 am UTC| Insights & Views

If youve been on social media then perhaps youve seen the Ancient Aliens meme; a wild-haired alien aficionado Giorgio A. Tsoukalos attributing all manner of things to aliens. Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is a well known...

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Economy

Crypto Currency Brief: Bitcoin rises for third straight day, HK-based Okex delists Altcoin pairs, EOS/USD breaches previous support – Friday, August 17th, 2018

BTC/USD: Bitcoin prices remained on the upside for the third consecutive day, trying to overcome the losses made last week, but failed to catch the $6,500 mark. Further, the past 24 hours witnessed a 50 percent jump in...

German bunds surge after Turkey’s political crisis worsens; Eurozone July CPI remains unchanged

The German bunds surged during European session Friday after Turkeys political crisis worsened, with the United States threatening to impose higher economic sanctions if the former refuses to set free a detained American...

Singapore’s NODX rises better-than-expected in July; NODX 2018 growth seen at 4-5 pct: OCBC Bank

Singapores non-oil domestic exports rose a better-than-expected 11.8 percent y/y (4.3 percent m/m s.a.) in July, up from Junes 1.1 percent y/y (-10.8 percent m/m s.a), beating market consensus forecast. While electronics...

Bank Negara Malaysia likely to remain accommodative, maintain OPR at 3.25 pct through this year: ANZ Research

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is expected to remain accommodative and growth supportive, with the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) likely to be maintained at 3.25 percent throughout this year, according to the latest report from...

New Zealand bonds close lower tracking U.S. Treasuries on hopes of U.S.-China trade talks meet by month-end

The New Zealand bonds closed lower Friday, tracking similar movement in the U.S. Treasuries, following hopes of a re-commencement in the trade talks between the United States and China. At the time of closing, the yield...

Politics

Abbott and Turnbull shape up for another round of an old battle

The Coalition party room on Tuesday is set for a high stakes, quite personal battle between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull over the National Energy Guarantee, with former and current prime ministers shaping up on...

Immigration activists fighting to abolish ICE have a bigger vision

Theres a phrase being thrown around a lot these days: Abolish ICE. Its a hashtag, its used in political speeches and demonstrations, and it appears all over Facebook. What does it mean and where did it come from? ICE...

A socialist's primary win doesn't herald a workers revolution in the US

Anyone anticipating a golden dawn of Marxist-Leninist communism soon in the United States might have to wait a while longer perhaps forever. The surprise victory of socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over longtime...

Kabila's decision to step aside won't change the DRC's power dynamics

The ruling party in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), The Peoples Party for Reconciliation and Democracy, made an announcement recently that took everybody by surprise that Joseph Kabila will not be its...

'Conservative turn' will continue in Indonesian presidential election next year

The recent announcement of President Joko Jokowi Widodos running mate in his re-election bid suggests the continued strong influence of conservative groups over politics in the worlds largest Muslim population. A...

Science

The world of plastics, in numbers

From its early beginnings during and after World War II, the commercial industry for polymers long chain synthetic molecules of which plastics are a common misnomer has grown rapidly. In 2015, over 320 million tons of...

How biobanks can help improve the integrity of scientific research

Biobanks are repositories which receive, store, process and disseminate specimens. These include DNA derived from humans and animals; bacterial strains; and environmental samples like plants and soil. Biobanks also provide...

Jupiter's magnetic fields may stop its wind bands from going deep into the gas giant

One of the most striking features of Jupiter a gaseous giant with no solid surface is the coloured bands that encircle the planet. These bands are so large and distinct that they can be seen from here on Earth using a...

The US plan for a Space Force risks escalating a 'space arms race'

United States Vice President Mike Pence has confirmed overnight plans to create a Space Force as the sixth branch of the US military. He repeated comments from President Donald Trump, who had said that American...

Chemistry kits can help teachers ignite the spark of science

When it comes to physical sciences, South Africas pupils lag far behind their peers in other countries. The World Economic Forum ranked South Africa at 128 of 137 countries in math and science education in its most recent...

Technology

OnePlus 6T News & Update: T-Mobile to Reportedly Sell 6T, First US Carrier to Do So

Since selling the first OnePlus smartphone in 2014, OnePlus has set itself apart as a unique existence in the smartphone industry. Forget trying to buy it via retailers, customers often needed an invitation to actually...

‘Fortnite’ Android News & Update: Even More Phones Added to List, Comparison Between iOS and Android

Fortnite Android is still in Beta phase, but the access to the test is being expanded to include more devices. This should help Epic work out as many of the bugs and kinks in the system before it officially launches for...

Bitcoin News & Update: Support-Building to Control Bounce, Charts Indicate Price Rise Possible

Bitcoin has not exactly been making a lot of waves recently, at least when compared to its heyday when it dominated headlines by reaching upwards of $20,000 in value. These days, the cryptocurrency is hovering somewhere in...

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Release Date, Features: Latest Gameplay Trailer Is Proving the 8-Year Wait Is Worth It

Developer Rockstar Games recently revealed more gameplay details in a six-minute trailer of Red Dead Redemption 2. The teaser is entirely boasting of huge gameplay improvements one can expect from the upcoming title as if...

Google Pixel 3 Release Date, Specs: Pixel 3 XL Seen in Public Confirms Bigger Display Notch and Chin?

A photo that has been making the rounds online reportedly shows an actual Google Pixel 3 XL in use. The device in question sports the same display notch and chin designs as shown in earlier leaked renders. The said...
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August 17 14:30 UTC Released

USECRI Weekly Annualized

Actual

0.3 %

Forecast

Previous

0.6 %

August 17 14:30 UTC Released

USECRI Weekly Index

Actual

147.4 %

Forecast

Previous

147.8 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 287506287506m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

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2016 bln ARS

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January 31 00:00 UTC 287506287506m

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Forecast

2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

January 22 19:00 UTC 299326299326m

ARTrade Balance

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Forecast

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-1541 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 287506287506m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 22 19:00 UTC 299326299326m

ARTrade Balance

Actual

Forecast

Previous

-1541 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 287506287506m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 287506287506m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 287506287506m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

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