Structure and evolution of the Cosmos

On the largest and most distant scales, astrophysicists and cosmologists at RSAA study many types of distant galaxies, investigate the nature of the early universe, and measure the expansion of space itself. Areas of study in these fields include:

  • understanding how galaxies form and interact with each other and their environments
  • observing how interactions between galaxies affect their development
  • the effects of internal processes, such as star formation and central supermassive black holes, on the growth of a galaxy
  • the role and nature of dark matter in the formation of structure in the universe
  • measuring the rate of acceleration of the expansion of the universe and understanding the implications for cosmological models
  • modelling and observing enigmatic phenomena such as gamma ray bursts, supernovae and other transients to understand the physical processes that cause them.

Research led by cosmologists at ANU led to the discovery that the Universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate; work for which the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded. RSAA astronomers continue to investigate what this means for theoretical models of the Universe, to understand the role of dark energy or the cosmological constant that drives this accelearation. They are also improving measurements of distance to the exploding stars, or supernovae, that are used as beacons in mapping the expansion rate to refine the results that constrain these models. One of the major goals for the SkyMapper Telescope's Southern Sky Survey is to discover tens of thousands of new supernova occurring in distant galaxies. This will significantly increase the sample of observed events and enable astronomers to make detailed follow-up observations to help improve understanding of the physical processes that occur during these stellar explosions.

Project Status
A high-altitude survey for nearby supernova Potential
A new search for strong gravitational lenses in the MAGPI survey Current
A resolved star formation study of galaxies using TYPHOON Potential
A resolved star formation study of star clusters and their ionised regions in NGC 628 Potential
A Spatially-Resolved study of Metal and Dust Abundances in Nearby Galaxies Potential
Are magnetic fields the scaffolds of galaxies? Potential
Black holes in the early Universe Current
Characterising the Evolution of Dust Attenuation in Galaxies with Galaxy Environment Potential
Characterising the Spatial Variation of Dust Attenuation in Galaxies Potential
Computational Astrophysics Laboratory Current
Connecting the Galactic and Extragalactic with MUSE: a comparison of integrated and resolved stellar populations Potential
Connections between morphology and kinematics at cosmic noon Potential
Data Archives Current
Extending the OzDES AGN Reverberation Mapping Program to year 7 and beyond Potential
Fyris Current
Gas-rich dwarf galaxies: evolution and chemistry in the local universe Current
High-speed imaging in the near-infrared Potential
How well we can weight the stars in distant galaxies from their observed light? Potential
Investigating the interaction between supermassive black holes and their host spiral galaxies Potential
Ionizing Radiation in Local Galaxies: Expectations versus Reality Potential
Local analogs for high-redshift galaxies in the GAMA Galaxy Survey Potential
Mapping azimuthal variations in metals across cosmic time Potential
Mapping Dark Matter in the Milky Way via Physics-Inspired Neural Networks Potential
Measuring Dark Energy with Supernova and Active Galactic Nuclei Potential, Current
Modelling the interstellar gas emission in galaxies Potential
Observing HII region spectra in isolated dwarf irregular galaxies from the SIGRID sample Potential
OzDES SkyMapper observations for Reverberation Mapping Potential
Performance of the SkyMapper Supernovae Search Potential
Probing the lagging halo of the Milky Way Potential
Projects related to Feedback by Jets and Winds in Active Galaxies Potential
Quintuple Galaxy Merger Potential
Radio galaxy environments Potential
Radio Galaxy Zoo and supermassive black holes Potential
Radio spectra of galaxies undergoing feedback by relativistic jets Potential
Red spirals - how star formation fades in galaxies Potential
Revisiting stellar masses in the JWST era Current
Shocking collisions in Stephan's Quintet Potential
Simulated Observations of the Magnetic Fields of the Milky Way Potential
SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey Current
SkyMapper Transient Survey Potential
SkyMapper Transient Survey Potential
Star Clusters as Engines of Ionisation and their HII Regions in NGC 7793 Potential
Taking the Temperature of a galaxy Potential
The Galactic Centre Gamma-Ray Excess: Signature of Dark Matter or Ancient Stars? Potential
The impact of systematic redshift errors on dark energy constraints Potential
The Initial Mass Function in the most extreme star-forming environments Potential
The Kepler Extra-Galactic Survey - Supernovae, Black Holes, and Cosmology Potential
The link between extended line emission and AGN feedback in brightest cluster galaxies Completed
The origin of filamentary structures in the interstellar medium of spiral galaxies Potential
The origin of metal rich globular clusters Potential
The Origin of the High Galactic Latitudes Asymmetry in the Milky Way Magnetic Field Structure Potential
The star formation -- AGN connection Potential
The Stromlo Milky Way Satellite Survey: Satellite galaxies as probe of structure formation in our cosmic backyard Potential
Thick disks in other spiral galaxies Potential
Understanding the Milky Way’s giant radio lobes Potential
Unveiling the properties of galaxies in the young Universe with the world’s largest telescope Potential
Using shockwaves to measure the oxygen abundance in the gas in galaxies Potential
Using SN free host spectra to improve spectral classification Potential