The government has for decades supported optical astronomy as one of the branches of astronomy in which Australian research leads the world.
To answer today’s big questions of science, Australia’s and the world’s astronomers need access to increasingly large and complex telescopes. To analyse the rich details in the light that these telescopes collect, our astronomers also need the most advanced cameras and instruments.
The scale of investment needed to do this means that countries must partner and collaborate to build and operate today’s leading-edge astronomy facilities.
The government is transforming Australia’s optical astronomy sector. To best position our astronomers to retain their high standing in this emerging era of global astronomy, the government:
This will enable the best science and create new industry opportunities to benefit Australia’s economy.
We support the government’s aims by:
The government is supporting Australia’s involvement in a 10-year Strategic Partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
ESO is an astronomy organisation with 16 member states, one host country (Chile) and one strategic partnership (Australia). It plays a leading role in promoting and organising international research cooperation and provides state-of-the-art research facilities to astronomers.
This unique partnership is giving Australian astronomers the opportunities they need to stay at the leading-edge of discovery. For the first time, they have long-term access to the world’s most advanced suite of optical telescopes and instruments.
The partnership opens up opportunities for Australian companies to tender for ESO work and supply contracts. Australian research institutions may also be invited to collaborate on ESO technology development projects.
Australia has appointed an Industrial Liaison Officer (ILO) to be the primary contact between ESO and Australian industry. The ILO will:
The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) operated as Australia’s national optical astronomy facility from 1974 to 2018. Among other world-class services to astronomers, the AAO:
As part of the transformation of Australia’s optical astronomy capability, the research sector is delivering these scientific operations:
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Last updated: 8 December 2020
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