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

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.

Telescope image of constellation Aquila close to border with Capricornus and Sagittarius.

News

Ancient star death unlocks 13-billion-year space mystery

In a world-first, astronomers from The Australian National University (ANU) have discovered evidence of a massive explosion that led to the destruction of a rapidly spinning, strongly-magnetized star.

Portrait head and shoulders photo of Professor Anna Moore with blurry background.

News

Funding boost to help Aussie tech survive in space

Australia's spacecraft and satellites will better survive damaging radiation and extreme conditions thanks to $2.5 million in funding for improved space testing facilities at ANU.

Artist interpretation of laser light sail. Image shows space with lasers from Earth casting a large sail.

News

Scientists lead ambitious study to reach infinity and beyond

Scientists from ANU have designed a new type of space-craft propulsion system as part of an ambitious international project that aims to explore the worlds surrounding our second nearest star, Alpha Centauri.