Professional organisations

Australia has a long & rich history of astronomical research. The following organisations draw on that heritage and are highly regarded by the international community as being at the forefront of their fields.

  • Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) – Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) – is Australia’s national optical/infrared observatory, operating the Anglo-Australian Telescope and UK Schmidt Telescope and managing access to the Gemini Observatory and the Magellan telescopes on behalf of the astronomical community. The AAO also conducts research in astronomy and technology and builds instrumentation for telescopes.
  • Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) – the organisation of professional astronomers in Australia.
  • Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) – operates the Australia Telescope which consists of the Compact Array at Narrabri and the Parkes and Mopra radio telescopes.
  • Australian Antarctic Division – operates cosmic ray telescopes and monitors in Tasmania and at Mawson, Antarctica, to study solar effects in the inner solar system and space weather.
  • Australian Centre for Astrobiology – an associate member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute hosted by UNSW.
  • Australian Gemini Office – multinational partnership to operate twin 8.1 meter astronomical telescopes which utilize new technology to produce some of the sharpest ever views of the Universe.
  • Australian National Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (ANITA) – a virtual institute which aims to ensure that the needs of Australian theoretical astrophysics are represented at a national and international level.
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) – by answering fundamental questions about the nature of the Universe, by developing innovative ways of processing enormous data-sets, and by providing a diverse set of opportunities for students and young researchers, CAASTRO aims to establish Australia as the world-leader in wide-field astronomy. CAASTRO is uniting the world’s top astronomers in a focused collaborative environment and is changing the way we understand the Cosmos. CAASTRO is funded by a $20.6M grant from the Australian Research Council, with additional support from the six CAASTRO nodes and from the New South Wales Government.
  • Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex – part of NASA’s Deep Space Network an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations.
  • The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) – a collaborative centre based in Perth, Western Australia. ICRAR is working closely with research and industry partners around the world towards the Square Kilometre Array and other projects. Through four key areas of research focus: radio astronomy engineering; high performance computing; astronomy; and electromagnetic compatibility, ICRAR is contributing to Australia’s excellence in astronomy. ICRAR is an equal joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia.
  • Ionospheric Prediction Service – provides support for a wide range of systems and technologies affected by space weather.
  • Perth Observatory – Australia’s oldest fully-operational astronomical observatory. Activities include: supernova search, microlensing, CCD photometry, astrometry, spectrophotometry, VLBI radio astronomy, education (primary to tertiary) and public outreach, and information