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.

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.

For a list of potential student projects to apply for PhB, Honours, PhD and other graduate degrees, please refer to the student projects page.

Stories

News

Wind mystery inside gas giant Saturn begins to unravel

A new study argues that Saturn's interior flows like honey due to its magnetic field.

News

Astronomers find traces of one of the first stars

Astronomers have found the ghostly remains of one of the Universe's first stars inside a rare, ancient star far, far away on the other side of our galaxy.

Research story

Could you survive a trip to Mars?

At a recent public lecture, Dr Emma Tucker posed a question to the audience: who would like to travel to space?

Student profile

Dawn of a new era for PhD grad – now featuring twice as many suns

Rajika Kuruwita is an astronomer. Her PhD is on a subject which very much exists IRL but is actually best known from fiction, so that’s where she always starts.

News

Taking astronomy on tour

A team from ANU has toured regional centres to inspire school students about the possibilities of their futures in astronomy.

Student profile

Shoot for the stars

Tegan Clark travelled 2,500 kilometres to start university, but for someone who spends her nights staring up at the stars, that hardly seems any distance at all

Analysis and opinion

Stars for sale, but no, you can’t really buy an official star name to remember someone

About once a week, I’m the one to gently explain that the star name bought to honour someone's memory is not officially recognised.

Analysis and opinion

Brian Cox is a world record-holding ‘rockstar scientist’. Here’s why

The phrase “sold out stadium shows” is not often synonymous with science. Unless of course you are Professor Brian Cox.

Research story

Telescopic view on history

“We saw the light from a fireball blasting out from the neutron star collision.”

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