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About Us


The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing is part of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

The Centre's vision is to inspire a fascination in the universe through research and education.

The specific purpose and goals of the Centre are defined as follows in its mission statement:
  • To undertake world-leading and internationally-recognized research in astronomy and astrophysics in both the observational and theoretical domains.
  • To build its research excellence upon access to the very best telescope and supercomputer facilities.
  • To make the expertise, knowledge and discoveries within the Centre available world-wide through innovative on-line teaching.
  • To excite and inform the public about the wonders of the universe through the production and global distribution of 3D astronomy movies.

Quick Facts

  • Capability Statement (pdf download)
  • Established in 1998, we are one of Australia's newest and fastest growing astronomy centres
  • We are the largest astronomical research group in Victoria, and we are one of the largest in Australia
  • We have more than 15 senior PhD-qualified staff, more than a dozen postdoctoral researchers and more than 25 students undertaking a PhD degree in our vibrant and friendly Centre.
  • We come from many different backgrounds: see a map of where CAS staff and students come from. We originate from 20 different countries from all 6 inhabited continents and we speak more than 15 languages which, apart from our working language, English, include Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
  • We operate a national supercomputing facility, currently a hybrid CPU-GPU system with a theoretical peak of ~600 teraFLOPS connected to a 3.0 petabyte lustre filesystem, on which we conduct simulations ranging from stellar to cosmological scales and process observational data.
  • We house and operate a state of the art virtual reality theatre
  • The Centre played a major part in constructing an innovative virtual reality environment - VROOM - which was housed at the Melbourne Museum until early 2010
  • We have an active program of research and development in the planned Square Kilometre Array project
  • We have an agreement with the W. M. Keck observatory, guaranteeing CAS researchers at least 15 nights per year
  • We regularly receive telescope time at major observatories including the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Parkes Observatory, Australia Telescope Compact Array and the Gemini Observatory
  • We are involved in an active Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Program

Research Interests

  • Astronomy Visualisation
  • Star & Planet Formation
  • Pulsars
  • Globular Clusters
  • Supermassive Black Holes
  • Galaxy Evolution
  • Big Bang Cosmology

Teaching

Our online astronomy program, Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO), concentrates on the fundamental concepts of and key issues in contemporary astronomy. It is designed for amateur astronomers, science educators and communicators, people working in astronomy related fields, and anyone with a love of astronomy and a need to understand more about what is being discovered in contemporary astronomical research.

Public Outreach

We are home to Cosmos, The Swinburne Astronomy Online Encyclopedia, a unique astronomy reference written by research astronomers for a general audience who wish to know detailed information on a wide range of astronomical topics.

We are also the creators of AstroTour. These 3D 50 minute tours of the Universe are guided by professional astronomers and hosted for a variety of audiences.

Our commercial arm, Swinburne 3D productions, uses the synergy of astronomers, visualisation researchers, animators, artists and programmers to create new dimensions in astronomy and visualisation through our range of virtual reality projection and fulldome projection systems coupled with inspiring educational content.