Stories of Australian Astronomy 2012

astronomypdfthumbnail Born from astronomy… Looking to a star-studded future

In 1768 the British Admiralty sent Captain James Cook to the Pacific to monitor the transit of the planet Venus across the Sun. On his way home to England, Cook mapped Australia’s east coast, and claimed New South Wales.

For about 40,000 years before that, the indigenous peoples of Australia had been developing remarkably sophisticated explanations of the workings of the Southern Sky.

And in the 20th Century, an independent Australia was at the forefront of radio astronomy, receiving the first signals from the Moon.

Today Australian astronomers continue to unravel the mysteries of the southern sky.

Stories of Australian Astronomy 2012 is a collection of stories of Australian astronomy from Science in Public.

Please feel free to follow up with any organisation whose work captures your interest.

You can also use the stories for your own social media, website, or publications. Everything is available for reuse under a Creative Commons licence.

Please find below a contents page that links to the individual stories found in this publication.

Browse the collection

You can browse this year’s collection at

Or use the menus on the left to search all our stories by field or science, organisation or State.

The full publication is also available as a PDF and in print. If you’d like us to send you some copies please email


Our Universe is getting bigger, faster

Dreaming of the sky: Indigenous astronomy

Casting light: Optical astronomy

The art of astronomy

Australian astronomers take on the Universe

Understanding our home: the Milky Way


The search for other Earths

Inspiring the next generation

From Antarctica to the Outback

Radio astronomy

Looking forward to the Square Kilometre Array


Stories of Australian Astronomy 2012 is part of the collection of stories of Australian science from Science in Public.

This collection could not have happened without the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Helen Sim from CSIRO/AAO and David Malin.

Our thanks go to:

  • The Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) for their financial support.
  • Helen Sim from CSIRO and the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) for her guidance.
  • David Malin for generously providing his remarkable images of the night sky.

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