Active Research Areas

Discover research in Australia with this listing of research areas accompanied by a brief description and links to reference material.

AGN & Quasars
Quasars are among the most luminous sources in the universe, emitting radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio to gamma-rays.

Astrobiology is an emerging field of research worldwide still in the stages of defining itself. It is concerned with investigating the past and future of life in the Universe.

Black Holes, Pulsars & Neutron
Pulsars are the collapsed cores of once-massive stars which ended their lives in cataclysmic events known as supernovae. Discovering pulsars, follow-on observations and theoretical understanding of how they work is carried out by research groups located in most the major Universities around the country.

Computational Astrophysics
In the past ten years specialist software at an astronomer’s disposal has evolved into sophisticated analysis tools capable of modeling complex astrophysical processes accurately.

Cultural Astronomy
Cultural Astronomy, which combines the disciplines of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, seeks to understand the role of the night sky in various cultures and societies of the past (archaeoastronomy) and present (ethnoastronomy).

Galaxies and Cosmology
Understanding the structure, formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the key problems in modern astrophysics.

Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Long baseline laser interferometer gravitational wave detectors should produce the first direct detection of gravitational waves by the end of this decade opening a new astronomical window.

History of Astronomy
With Australia’s strong history in astronomy, the field of astronomy history is also alive and well in Australia.

Australian organisations are fast developing an international reputation for building and designing quality radio receivers and telescope instrumentation. Such is the expertise within the country, there is much demand for external contracts by international organisations.

The formation of planets and the search for extrasolar planets are active areas of research in Australia.

Space Physics
Space is not empty! Space physics includes the interplanetary medium (or solar wind), the ionospheres and magnetospheres of Earth and the other planets, and the interaction between the solar wind and the local interstellar medium.

Solar Astrophysics
The processes underlying sun spots, solar flares, coherent solar radio emissions and the structure of the Sun’s magnetic field are still poorly understood today. Three Australian universities are seeking to understand our nearest star in greater detail.

Stars & Stellar Systems
Stellar research in Australia covers star formation & stellar evolution, as well as the formation & dynamics of stellar systems and globular clusters.