UNSW joins Centre of Excellence in Astrophysics Research – ASTRO 3D

The School of Physics at UNSW is pleased to announce joining the ASTRO 3D Centre of Excellence as a new node. 

ASTRO 3D is an international collaborative effort that aims to build a picture of the evolution of matter and the transition of energy in the Universe from shortly after the Big Bang until the present day.  Ultimately, the Centre will propel Australia to the forefront of astronomical research through the development of next generation giant optical and radio telescopes. 

UNSW’s contribution to this important initiative is led by Chief Investigator (CI), Associate Professor Kim-Vy Tran. Other UNSW astronomers are also engaged in multiple projects within ASTRO 3D including: the GALAH survey (involving UNSW Associate Professor Sarah Martell and UNSW Associate Professor Dennis Stello); and SAMI and Hector surveys (led by UNSW Professor Sarah Brough).

CI Tran oversees the Galaxy Evolution Project (GE), which has a multifaceted objective to better understand:

  • how chemical elements accumulate in galaxies and their surroundings;
  • how visible and dark matter assembles within galaxies; and
  • how ionising radiation is produced and escapes galaxies over 12 billion years of cosmic time. 

To form a comprehensive picture, Tran and her team are tracking how gas, stars, and dark matter evolve by combining deep spectroscopy with multi-wavelength imaging. The discoveries made by the GE Project will further understanding of foregrounds in the MWA EoR data.  Their history will be compared with the archaeological history of the Milky Way from the GALAH survey. These studies also bridge the First Galaxies with nearby galaxies observed with SAMI and Hector and complement ASKAP observations of the cool gas in galaxies.  

For those interested in ongoing astrophysics research projects associated both with the School of Physics UNSW and the ASTRO 3D Centre of Excellence, the Annual Science Meeting will be held 2-3 September.  It’s open to the public and free.   Furthermore, it features many speakers from the School of Physics including Kim-Vy Tran, Sarah Martell, PhD students Kirsten Banks, Anishya Harshan, and Giulia Santucci, and Postdoctoral Researchers Cristina Martinez-Lombilla and Jeffrey Simpson.

(Pictured above: UNSW astronomers at the ASTRO 3D meeting on “Gas Fuelling of Galaxy Structures Across Cosmic Time” Nov 2018)