Astronomy & astrophysics

The ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics operates Australia’s largest optical observatory and has access to the world’s largest optical telescopes.

Our staff and students have made major contributions to astronomy, mapping the structure and formation of the Milky Way, discovering planets orbiting other stars, measuring dark matter both within our Galaxy and in the wider Universe, and discovering the accelerating expansion of the Universe.

Our astronomers include winners of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and the Nobel Prize.

At our administrative home at the Mount Stromlo Observatory we host the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre which is a national facility established to support the development of the next generation of instruments for astronomy and space science.

Our research telescopes are situated in the ANU Siding Spring Observatory, located in the Warrumbungle region of New South Wales. The observatory began as a field station for the Mount Stromlo Observatory and has since become Australia’s premier optical and infrared observatory, housing the state-of-art SkyMapper telescope.

The University also has a ten per cent share in the Giant Megellan Telescope under construction in Chile. When completed, it will be the world’s most powerful telescope.

School

Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Field sites & facilities

Explore some of the numerous of research sites and facilities established by our research schools in Australia and across the world. Researchers and students at ANU enjoy access to state-of-the-art equipment to help facilitate ground-breaking research.

Research projects

Browse research topics of the College of Science and the College of Health & Medicine with links to relevant researchers.

See our list of potential student projects to apply for PhB, Honours, PhD and other graduate degrees.

Stories

News

The curious case of a star crash in a galaxy far, far away

The detection of two neutron stars colliding in space about five billion trillion kilometres away has left a team of scientists scratching their heads.

News

A quantum leap that’s been decades in the making

Improving the sensitivity of laser interferometers that can detect ripples in space and time from violent smashes in the Universe.

Analysis and opinion

The X17 factor: a particle new to physics might solve the dark matter mystery

The so-called X17 particle could help to explain dark matter.

Analysis and opinion

Science needs true diversity to succeed - and Australian astronomy shows how we can get it

To make the most of the next wave of stargazing technology, we will need true diversity in our astronomical community.

News

Pear shaped nuclei solve a nuclear fission mystery

Things go pear-shaped when you split the atom, nuclear physicists have found.

Student blog

The supersonic recipe for a big star

Astronomy and Astrophysics Masters student, Donghee Nam, shares his research into star formation.

Artist impression of S5-HVS1 ejection by Sagittarius A

News

Milky Way’s big black hole hurls star to infinity and beyond

A star is travelling at more than six million km/h through the Milky Way after being flung from the centre of our galaxy by a supermassive black hole.

News

Researchers apply the squeeze to better detect stellar-mass black holes

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have found a way to better detect all collisions of stellar-mass black holes in the Universe.

News

New telescopes to help students reach for the stars

Budding astronomers from across the Canberra region now have greater access to high-quality telescopes at Mt Stromlo Observatory.

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