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Curtin astronomy is involved in a number of local and international collaborative projects associated with the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory (MRO), located several hundred kilometres inland from Geraldton. Currently Curtin, CSIRO and a number of Australian and overseas universities are setting up a wide range of instruments within the MRO.

Local links

Research institutions

ICRAR – The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
CIRA is a founding member of ICRAR along with the radio astronomy group of UWA.
The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research is a collaborative centre based in Perth, Western Australia. Already achieving research excellence in astronomical science and engineering, ICRAR has grown steadily since its launch in September 2009.

CIRA – Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy
CIRA is the Curtin University node of ICRAR, with research focusses in Engineering and the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory. The radio astronomers and engineers employed by Curtin University are based in the Brodie Hall Building in Technology Park, across the road from the main university campus.

Perth Observatory
The Perth Observatory is Australia’s oldest continuously operating professional observatory and Western Australia’s premier astronomical institution. The Observatory has served the state of Western Australia for over 100 years, providing information and education services, and conducting internationally recognised research.

UWA – Astronomy & Astrophysics
UWA Astronomy and Astrophysics is the other founding member of ICRAR, focussing on science and high-performance computing.

Australian International Gravitational Research Centre
The Australian International Gravitational Research Centre is part of the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy (ACIGA). It was established in 1990 to enable a cooperative research centre providing a national focus in a major frontier in physics: the detection of gravitational waves and the development of gravitational astronomy. Through strong national and international participation, the research centre concentrates on the development of advanced technologies driven by the goal of the next generation large scale gravitational observatory construction.

Astronomy for the public

Gravity Discovery Centre
The Gravity Discovery Centre is designed to show bright young people that there is a huge future for science and exploration. It is designed to allow students to experience the joy of finding things out for themselves – the joy of knowledge and understanding, and it is designed to encourage young people to be the scientists and technologists
of tomorrow while contributing to society’s broader, deeper understanding of science.

Scitech is an interactive science museum with exhibitions, programs and services designed for people of all ages. Scitech features interactive ways for visitors to discover more about the world and the science of how things work and was the first Australian Science centre to produce their own large scale exhibitions and continue to design and built most exhibits on site. In 2004 Horizon – the Planetarium was opened, a major new facility showcasing astronomical full-dome screen movies.

Horizon – The Planetarium
Horizon – The Planetarium is an indoor theatre presenting high-tech, multimedia shows about our night sky, the solar system and beyond. The digital projection system displays stars, planets and other celestial bodies on its 18 metre dome screen, the largest dome screen in the Southern Hemisphere. Horizon uses SkyVision, the same system installed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. The images are simulations, rather than photos, but are all based on fact. Some of the world’s leading astrophysicists have helped to produce them, using data from NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA)] and research from astronomical researchers around the world, including Melbourne’s Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University.

Learmonth Solar Observatory
The Sun is the lifeblood of our planet. It provides us directly with heat, light, and indirectly with food and most of our energy. However, another mostly unseen aspect to the Sun’s influence is its effect on the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the near-space environment. This space weather is becoming increasingly apparent as society becomes more technologically dependent. Areas as diverse as radio communication and navigation, satellites and space exploration, geophysical prospecting and submarine detection, long pipelines and large electrical grid networks, aurora and animal migration are affected. It is the task of Learmonth Solar Observatory to monitor the variability of the Sun, the source of these natural effects on a diverse range of human activity.

The Science Network WA
ScienceNetwork WA is an exciting project developed by Scitech in partnership with the Office of Science, Technology
and Innovation. Based at Scitech in Perth, ScienceNetwork WA provides Western Australia’s entire scientific community with a valuable opportunity to promote science and technology research and developments to industry peers, schools, universities, the media, and the general public. Scientists, educators, students, researchers, media and interested members of the public will find ScienceNetwork WA an informative and illuminating site that provides news, events, industry profiles, career opportunities and more from all corners of science in WA.

Astronomy WA
Astronomy WA was created as part of the ASISTM (Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics) Earth and Beyond project, which aims to bring about real and permanent improvements to the ways in which science, technology and mathematics are taught in our schools. The objectives for this website are to promote astronomy with a strong focus on Western Australia’s contributions to the subject, and to provide useful resources for teachers, students, and others, professional or amateur, with an interest in the field. The Current Projects section contains information on current projects in WA including radio, optical, and gravitational astronomy.

Gingin Observatory
Stargazing and astronomy are fun at Gingin Observatory, only an hour north of Perth. It’s a special place where you can delight in the wonders of space, stargaze through telescopes to see planets, stars and more, chat with astronomers and see a laser beam tour of the constellations during an entertaining night!

Amateur groups

Astronomical Society of Western Australia
ASWA continues to strive to bring the joy of astronomy within reach of the public and to provide a forum for amateur astronomers of all persuasions to gather together and enjoy this unique hobby. Aims of the society include the stimulation of a popular interest in astronomy, the association of observers for mutual help and their organization in the work of astronomical observation and to promote astronomical research by amateurs.

Western Australian Radio Observatory (WARO)

The WA Radio Observatory has its roots in the old Mt Gungin Radio Observatory located in Bickley, near the Perth
Observatory. Recently, Mt Gungin Radio Observatory joined forces with the Queensland SETI [Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence] Institute and moved its operations to Golden Grove, Lower Chittering – a township just north of Perth. The Golden Grove site is an orange grove located in a beautiful valley in Lower Chittering. The radio dishes used for making radio observations of astronomical objects share their ground with orange trees, sheep and chooks!

National links

CASS – CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
CSIRO’s provider of technology and services for radio astronomy, spacecraft tracking and space sciences.

CAASTRO – Centre of excellence for All-sky ASTROphysics
CAASTRO is a conglomeration of six institutions around Australia with research interests in all-sky astrophysics funded by the Australian Research Council.
CAASTRO will receive more than $28M in funding over the next seven years to pursue these activities. CAASTRO will be led by The University of Sydney, in conjunction with the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Swinburne University, complemented by a group of world-class Australian and international partners.

Australia and New Zealand SKA Project (anzSKA)
Curtin is a founding partner in the Australian SKA project. Up to a hundred times more powerful than the world’s largest existing telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be one of the largest and most ambitious international science projects ever devised. It will help to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of the universe.
Australia has been shortlisted after a rigorous selection process as one of the two sites identified as potential locations for the SKA.
The principal collaborators in the Australian SKA project are the Australian Government, the State of Western Australia and Australia’s premier science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Several Australian universities are also actively engaged, with other state governments likely to be involved in due course. International partners include the USA, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India and several European countries.

Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO)
The Anglo-Australian Observatory is an organisation jointly funded by the Australian and British governments, which looks after two of Australia’s premier optical telescopes.

Australian National University (ANU)
The Australian National University operates telescopes at the Mt Stromlo Observatory and the Siding Spring Observatory.

Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF)
ATNF is the astronomical arm of CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (see above) and is one of Australia’s largest astronomical groups, managing 3 radio telescopes in NSW and playing host to a large number of astronomers and engineers.

Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC)
The Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex is one third of NASA’s Deep Space Network, and provides a necessary communications link to deep space probes.

IPS Radio and Space Services
IPS Radio and Space Services is one of the four groups running the Learmonth Solar Observatory. On their site you can find all you want about Learmonth, and check out the space weather on your way.

University of Tasmania
The University of Tasmania astronomy department runs and operates four different telescopes across the southern states of Australia.

The Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA)
The Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) was formed in 1966 as the organisation of professional astronomers in Australia. Membership of the ASA is open to anyone contributing to the advancement of Australian astronomy or a closely related field.

International links

Cassini-Huygens is an international collaboration between three space agencies. This site contains information about the mission, general information about Saturn, and educational resources aimed at many levels.

European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere
The intergovernmental European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes located at the La Silla Paranal Observatory in Chile.

European Space Agency (ESA)
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG)
The Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) is a community-based program to conduct a detailed study of solar internal structure and dynamics using helioseismology. In order to exploit this new technique, GONG has developed a six-station network of extremely sensitive, and stable velocity imagers located around the Earth to obtain nearly continuous observations of the Sun’s “five-minute” oscillations, or pulsations. Learmonth Solar Observatory is part of the GONG project.

Harvard Center for Astrophysics
The mission of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is to advance our knowledge and understanding of the universe through research and education in astronomy and astrophysics. The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

Institute of High Energy Physics and Astrophysics (IHEPA)
The Institute of High Energy Physics and Astrophysics (IHEPA) is a Chinese institute with collaboration links to the AIGRC.

Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)
The IUCAA is an Indian organisation with links to the AIGRC.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
JPL is a subdivision of NASA, which deals mainly with the construction and engineering side of space and planet exploration. The JPL site has a large range of educational and informative material.

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory consists of two separate instillations, one in Washington and one in Louisiana, being operated as single gravitational-wave observatory.

MIT Haystack Observatory – Murchison Widefield Array Project
This MIT-based website is the home for the LFD project. Here you’ll find all the details about the big questions.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA is USA’s premier space and planet exploration body. It manages a number of operations across America, including JPL.

National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) manages the largest range of ground-based US optical telescopes.

Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork (PLANET)
PLANET is a group of astronomers from 10 different countries using a group of telescopes to search for anomalous microlensing events. PLANET is one of Perth Observatories current key projects.

Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
If you’re looking for information about the world’s largest planned radio telescope: the SKA, then this is the site for you! This is the international site for the SKA telescope, and contains just about everything you might want to know about it: what, when, why, where and how.

Other links

General interest

Solar system


Journals and papers

Surveys and databases