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.

Related stories

Media release, News

Astrophysicists solve 'empty sky' gamma-ray mystery

Star-forming galaxies are responsible for creating gamma-rays that until now had not been associated with a known origin.

Dr Noelia Martinez Rey is standing inside the ruins of a telescope destroyed by bushfire.

Research story

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how wonderfully artificial you are

Dr Noelia Martinez Rey creates artificial stars in space using lasers to correct for the twinkling effect of atmospheric turbulence. “When you see a star twinkle, that twinkle is created by turbulence in our atmosphere,” she explains.

Illustration of a supernova explosion

News, Research story

World-first look at earliest moments of supernova explosion

In a world-first, astronomers at The Australian National University (ANU), working with NASA and an international team of researchers, have captured the first moments of a supernova - the explosive death of stars.

Analysis and opinion

We found a new type of stellar explosion that could explain a 13-billion-year-old mystery of the Milky Way’s elements

Until recently it was thought neutron star mergers were the only way heavy elements (heavier than Zinc) could be produced. These mergers involve the mashup of the remnants of two massive stars in a binary system.

Professor Yun Liu, Professor Sharon Friel and Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths.

Media release, Research story

ANU researchers win nation’s most prestigious funding award

Galaxies, building health equity and “crystal chemistry” is the focus of three major research projects at The Australian National University (ANU) receiving more than $9.7 million in Government funding.