ARC CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR ALL SKY
ASTROPHYSICS IN 3D
We are conducting groundbreaking new 3 Dimensional surveys alongside an observationally-driven theory program with dedicated telescopes and supercomputing facilities.
We are developing new data-intensive astronomy infrastructure to analyse the Petabytes of data that will ensue from the Square Kilometre Array.
We are translating this research into high impact publications with broad and far-reaching international dissemination of our results, through our unified and cohesive scientific collaborations and our efficient administrative structure.
The Research Plan has been developed with the leaders of each participating University and partner organisation and is managed by the Science Management Committee. Each survey and project require input from other surveys and projects at key dates within ASTRO 3D. Cross-project workshops are facilitating this data and knowledge transfer.
THE ORIGIN OF MATTER AND THE PERIODIC TABLE
ASTRO 3D is leading research in understanding the origins of the elements of the periodic table and how they built into the galaxies around us. Tracing elements back to the earliest times of the universe will answer the following questions:
How did structures in the Universe grow out of matter, forming the building blocks of galaxies like our Milky Way?
What forces have shaped the accumulation and motion of matter in the Universe across space and time?
How were the elements of the periodic table forged across space and time, and how were they assembled into galaxies like our Milky Way?
About 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the Universe cooled and its soup of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons coupled up, leaving neutral hydrogen. It stayed dark and cold for hundreds of millions of years until eventually, around 150 million years after the Big Bang, cold gas began clumping together and the first generation of stars and galaxies began shining. Those stars blasted the electrons from the neutral atoms to ionise (or charge) the inter-galactic hydrogen into its constituent protons and electrons and heated the universe by 10,000 degrees in a process known to astronomers as reionisation.
Reionisation was an important milestone in the history of the universe for two reasons:
It identifies the time when stars and galaxies became the dominant influence on the conditions of the universe.
The study of reionisation provides an opportunity to study the properties of the first galaxies and stars.
Reionisation must be understood as part of a complete theory of galaxy formation. ASTRO 3D will combine theoretical simulations on supercomputers with radio and optical simulations on the world’s largest ground-based telescopes to answer these fundamental questions.
The Genesis Simulations are using large-scale super-computer models of galaxy formation to provide an ever-increasingly detailed theoretical framework for interpreting observations. Genesis is simulating the first stars, early Universe chemical enrichment, proto-galaxy formation, reionisation, galaxy growth through star formation and mergers, the build-up of angular momentum from the scales of galaxy clusters to star-forming regions within galaxies, the emergence and evolution of large-scale massive structures in the Universe, and the evolution of the material between galaxies.
ASTRO 3D Genesis simulations is combining advanced galaxy modelling techniques with realistic 3D models to create datasets that can be used to directly interpret the observations from our major 3D surveys.
The models provide predictions for our optical and radio surveys, and then the results of the surveys will be used to constrain the models and yield more accurate simulations of galaxy formation and evolution. Theorists and observers are working together towards our scientific goals.
The ASTRO 3D flagship telescopes (AAT, ASKAP, MWA, SkyMapper) are collecting unprecedented volumes of multi-dimensional observational data sets, while the Genesis Simulations is producing huge amounts of theoretical data. ASTRO 3D is developing sophisticated data management and access systems, as well as developing new algorithms and visualization tools to efficiently extract scientific information. ASTRO 3D aims to meet the data processing and analysis need for our surveys, provide a single common architecture for direct comparison between our surveys and the Genesis Simulations, and build the infrastructure to effectively analyse Petabytes of data in the lead-up to the Square Kilometre Array and other next-generation telescopes.
We are also linking databases to provide a direct and vital connectivity amongst our program to all nodes and provide International Virtual Observatory Alliance compliant interfaces for the international astronomical community.
9 May 2018 With the announcement of funding of the Australian Space Agency, the Australian Academy of Science chatted with ASTRO 3D Director Prof. Lisa Kewley, Associate Investigator Assoc. Prof. Alan Duffy and Affiliate Dr. […]
27 Apr 2018 Education and Outreach Manager Ingrid McCarthy has developed a new ASTRO 3D learning activity for the April YMCA Space Squad participants, based on spectra and how ASTRO 3D astronomers use […]
Large galaxy clusters are the most massive structures in the Universe, comprising 10,000’s of galaxies. As predicted by Einstein, their large mass causes them to act as efficient ”cosmic telescopes” […]
ASTRO 3D astronomers have begun using CSIRO’s $188 million Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in a major science survey project – WALLABY (Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind surveY) […]