High on the Antarctic Plateau, in one of the coldest places on Earth, a group of telescopes are peering through stellar dust clouds into the heart of our galaxy.
The cold helps counteract interference from the telescopes and surrounding equipment, which can hinder our ability to see relatively ‘cool’ objects in space, such as asteroids, young stars, and interstellar gas.
Australian-led astronomers find the most iron-poor star in the Galaxy, hinting at the nature of the first stars in the Universe.
A newly discovered ancient star containing a record-low amount of iron carries evidence of a class of even older stars, long hypothesised but assumed to have vanished.
In a paper published in the journal Monthly Notices of
the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, researchers led by Dr Thomas
Nordlander of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3
Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) confirm the existence of an ultra-metal-poor red
giant star, located in the halo of the Milky Way, on the other side of the
Galaxy about 35,000 light-years from Earth.
Dr Stuart Ryder is venturing into the stratosphere on a NASA jet to study the birthplace of massive stars.
Macquarie University astronomer Dr Stuart Ryder is in New Zealand to hitch a ride on a NASA jet and take a closer look at how stars are born in one of the most active stellar nurseries ever seen.
“We’re looking at a molecular cloud called BYF73, which is collapsing in on itself at extremely high speeds and forming massive stars,” says Stuart, who is an Adjunct Fellow with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University.
Australian universities joined a European fleet of CubeSats to explore a
little-known layer of the atmosphere.
In May 2017, the European Union led a mission called QB50 to
launch a constellation of 50 mini-satellites from the International Space
Station. The pocket-sized CubeSats set out to study the thermosphere, the layer
of Earth’s atmosphere between 90 and 600 kilometres above the ground that
carries signals from GPS and other satellites.
Planning space missions is traditionally a time-consuming and costly process. But the new Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF), housed at UNSW’s Canberra campus, speeds things up so a mission can be planned in weeks rather than months.
Harnessing the expertise, design processes and software of the French Space Agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), the UNSW team has created Australia’s first concurrent design facility.
The ANCDF allows engineers and scientists—both professionals and students—to design different parts of a mission in parallel rather than one after the other, which is the traditional approach.