• Academic
Staff Record
Photo of Michael Ashley

Michael Ashley


+61(2) 9385 5465


+61(2) 9385 6060


  • M.Sc. Cal. Tech.
  • B.Sc., Ph.D. ANU

Research Interests: 

  • Antarctic astronomy: this is the last great frontier for ground-based astronomy. Our group at UNSW is leading the Australian push to establish a large optical/infrared telescope on the antarctic plateau. Twelve of our graduate students have been to Antarctica, several have wintered over.
  • Terahertz astronomy from Antarctica: I am collaborating with Craig Kulesa at the University of Arizona on a 0.6m THz telescope at Ridge A in Antarctica.
  • Instrumentation & computing: my long term interest has been in electronics and computing (both hardware and software) with the goal of building new and interesting astronomical instruments.


CCD readout method, Ashley, M. C. B., 2003, Australian patent 759445. 

Honours, Awards and Memberships: 

I am a "matchmaker" for the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, connecting journalists and government officials with climate scientists around the world.

Selected Publications: 

Ashley, M. C. B., 2013, The care and feeding of an Antarctic telescope, Physics Today, 66, 050000.

Ashley, M. C. B., 2013, Site characteristics of the high Antarctic plateau, IAU Symposium, 288, 15–24.

Kulesa, C. A., Ashley, M. C. B., Augarten, Y., Bonner, C. S., Burton, M. G., Bycroft, L., Lawrence, J., Lesser, D. H., Loomis, J., Luong-Van, D. M., Martin, C. L., McLaren, C., Stapleton, S., Storey, J. W. V., Swift, B. J., Tothill, N. F. H., Walker, C. K., Young, A. G., 2013, Opportunities for Terahertz Facilities on the High Plateau, IAU Symposium, 288, 256–263.

Ashley, M. C. B., Augarten, Y., Bonner, C. S., Burton, M. G., Bycroft, L., Lawrence, J. S., Luong-Van, D. M., McDaid, S., McLaren, C., Sims, G., Storey, J. W. V., 2012, PLATO-R: a new concept for Antarctic science, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series, 8444

Ashley, M. C. B., Event horizon: the black hole in The Australian's climate change coverage, The Conversation, 31 August 2011.

Lawrence, J. S., Ashley, M. C. B., Tokovinin, A., and Travouillon, T., 2004,Exceptional astronomical seeing conditions above Dome C in Antarctica, Nature, 431, 278–281.