Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomy & Astrophysics

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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.

Facilities

The Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at the University’s Mount Stromlo Observatory is a world-class facility for the design, manufacturing, assembly, integration and testing of ground-based and space-based instruments, and small satellites.

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The Centre for Advanced Microscopy (CAM) provides state-of-the art microscopy and microanalysis equipment to researchers, students and industry partners.

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The Giant Magellan Telescope will be the world’s most powerful telescope, with a resolution ten times better than the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Kioloa Campus

The 348-hectare ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus is one of Australia’s premier field stations, offering a diverse ecology which encourages research across all scientific disciplines.

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The ANU MakerSpace is an initiative by the Research School of Physics and Engineering, where we know people learn by doing.  

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Mount Stromlo Observatory

The Mount Stromlo Observatory (MSO) is the headquarters of RSAA, located in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.

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The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) is home to the Southern Hemisphere’s most highly-integrated supercomputer and filesystems, Australia’s highest performance research cloud, and one of the nation’s largest data catalogues—all supported by an expert team.

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The CPAS Podcast Studio is open to staff and students throughout ANU (not just scientists!) to record and grow podcast series. Your success is our success: we want to help you make the biggest and best podcast series in the world.  

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Science precinct

Our new $240-million science precinct on the ANU campus has state-of-the-art biological and chemical research laboratories, as well as a teaching hub.

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Aerial picture of Siding Spring Observatory

Siding Spring Observatory, on the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran, NSW, is Australia's premier optical and infrared astronomical observatory.

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SkyMapper is a state-of-the-art automated wide-field survey telescope that represents a new vehicle for scientific discovery.

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Designed by Eggleston, MacDonald and Secomb, the Forestry Building (#48) was officially opened on 16 May 1968 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh with the unveiling of a wooden sculpture in the building’s main foyer.

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Articles

Purple gamma ray bubbles in the Milky Way

In new research published in Nature Astronomy, we show that a glowing cocoon that has puzzled astronomers for a decade is caused by gamma rays emitted by fast-spinning extreme stars called “millisecond pulsars” in a galaxy orbiting the Milky Way.

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A rocket on a launchpad near water against a sunset

Water ice has been found in the southern regions of the Moon, and it is hoped certain gases that can be used for fuels can also be mined. These resources could be used to support long-term human habitation on and near the Moon in lunar bases.

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Headshots of Professor Mark Krumholz and Professor Andrew Hassell

Professor Mark Krumholz and Professor Andrew Hassell, both from the ANU College of Science, have been named Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureates.

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