An ASKAP antenna at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory. Image Credit: Ant Schinckel, CSIRO.

      

 

 

News


2017

11 April 2017: Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) is inviting applications from suitably qualified Australian-based astronomers to represent Australia as an observer at meetings of the Magellan Scientific Advisory Committee. Applications close at 5pm AEST Monday 1st May 2017. Further details can be found on our website: http://astronomyaustralia.org.au/advertisments/197-advertisements

20 March 2017: Following a two-stage tender process, Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) has signed contracts with Swinburne University of Technology and Curtin University/Pawsey Supercomputing Centre to collaboratively provide Astronomy Data and Computing Services (ADACS). The ADACS scope of services for 2017 is intended to include:

(1) Astronomy-focused expert training and support in software development, data management, HPC and advanced data analysis, in order to optimise the usage of, and increase value from, existing research infrastructure.

(2) Creating and/or enhancing astronomy data portals, including All-Sky Virtual Observatory(ASVO), to facilitate the management, sharing and reuse of data.

(3) Collaboration with national eResearch providers to help coordinate and maximise the computing and storage resources available to astronomers.

Further details can be found here.

20 March 2017: Proposals for Australian community access to the Magellan telescopes for Semester 2017B are due by 5pm AEST, Friday 7 April 2017. Details on how to prepare and submit an application can be found on the ITSO website: https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/magellan/apply. Australian access to these facilities has been enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and other research infrastructure grants.

7th March 2017: Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) is inviting applications from suitably qualified Australian-based astronomers to represent Australia at meetings of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) Council. Applications close at 5pm AEDT Monday 20th March 2017. Further details can be found on our website: http://astronomyaustralia.org.au/advertisments/272-advertisements

6th March 2017: Proposals for Australian community access to the Keck telescopes for Semester 2017B are due by 5pm AEST, 22nd March 2017. Proposals for Australian community access to the Gemini telescopes for Semester 2017B are due by 5pm AEST, 31st March 2017.  Details on how to prepare and submit an application can be found on the ITSO website: https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/home. Australian access to these facilities has been enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and other research infrastructure grants.

2016

22nd December 2016: We are both delighted and saddened to report that Yeshe has accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer for ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). This is a wonderful new opportunity for Yeshe, and OzGrav is very fortunate that Yeshe has accepted that important role. AAL has benefited enormously from Yeshe’s efforts, dedication, insights and effective delivery of results for the past five years. We wish her every success with OzGrav.

21st December 2016: The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Astronomy Australia Limited are delighted to announce that they have reached in-principle agreement to collaborate during 2017 and 2018 to benefit both Australian and Japanese astronomers. Australia will provide financial support, technical contributions, and four nights on the Anglo-Australian Telescope in exchange for ten nights on the Subaru Telescope. The telescope access will be available during 2018 and 2019A. The technical contributions will include a design study associated with enhancements to Subaru’s adaptive optics system. This initial collaboration will benefit astronomers in both countries, and provide a framework for a deeper collaboration in future years

5th December 2016: Thanks to Australia's Chief Scientist and the Department of Education and Training for releasing the draft 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap for comment.  

5th December 2016: Congratulations to Professor Rachel Webster who has been appointed as Chair of the AAL Board until February 2018!

18th November 2016: AAL welcomes four new Directors to the AAL Board, following their appointment by the AAL members at our 2016 AGM: Prof Naomi McClure-Griffiths, Prof Karl Glazebrook, Prof Chris Tinney and Dr Ben Greene.

We wish to sincerely thank the retiring Directors, Prof Anne Green (also retiring as Chair), Prof Ron Ekers, Dr Ian Chessell, and Prof Lisa Kewley, for their significant contributions to AAL.

17th November 2016: The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) today announced the appointment of Walter E. Massey, PhD, and Taft Armandroff, PhD, to the positions of Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. Continuing their involvement with GMT in new leadership capacities, Massey and Armandroff will guide the GMTO Board, overseeing the construction of the 24.5 metre Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT).

Australian participates at the 10% level in the Giant Magellan Telescope project through partners Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) and the Australian National University. This is made possible through contributions from the Commonwealth Government and through the Government's Education Investment Fund (EIF) and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). See press release for more details.

9th November 2016: Applications are now open for a position to represent Australia on the Board of the Murchison Widefield Array project. Applications close on Thursday 24 November 2016 at 5PM AEDT. Further details can be found here

14th October 2016: Briefing session of Call for Expression of Interest (EOI): Astronomy Data and Computing Services will be held at 2pm (AEDT), 19 October 2016. Please RSVP here: https://astronomyaustralia.eventbrite.com.au. An FAQ page is also available here

7th October 2016: Expressions of Interest (EOI) proposals are invited from organisations to be registered to tender to provide astronomy-focused training, support and expertise to enable astronomers to maximise the scientific return from data and computing infrastructure. The deadline for Expressions of Interest (EOI) is: 5pm (AEDT), 28 October 2016. More information is available here: http://astronomyaustralia.org.au/open-tender

6th October 2016: We are pleased to announce that Australian access to the world-class 6.5-metre optical/IR Magellan telescopes in Chile will continue until Semester 2020B at the current level of 15 nights per year. This is possible under an agreement between AAL and the Carnegie Institution for Science.  AAL secured the funding for 45 additional nights (during 2018-2020) from the Australian Government via the Department of Education and Training (under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The International Telescopes Support Office manages access to this time.

23rd September 2016: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access. Applications close at 5pm (AEST) Monday 31st October, 2016

8th September 2016: AAL advertises for Non-Executive Directors on the AAL Board, and for Committee members. The advertisements are available here. Applications for Board and Committee positions close 4PM AEST Monday 26th Sept 2016

12th September 2016: AAL is delighted to welcome Robert (Xiaobin) Shen to the AAL team, in his role as Program Manager. Rob brings extensive experience in IT and eResearch, having worked in a range of project/program management roles, including most recently, the software lead & integration support at the Australian National Data Service.

8th September 2016: Congratulations to AAL Directors Prof Lisa Kewley and Prof Matthew Bailes who are leading two new ARC Centres of Excellence in all-sky astrophysics in 3D and in gravitational wave astronomy, respectively. This ~$61M Government investment in astronomy research over the next seven years is fantastic news for the Australian astronomy community, and AAL looks forward to investing in the infrastructure underpinning their science programs. 

26th August 2016: AAL is very pleased to announce that we have signed an agreement with AURA giving Australian astronomers access to 7 nights on the Gemini 8-metre-class optical telescopes in 2017, thus extending the current access arrangements by another year. Funds for this agreement have been made available through the Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

28th June 2016: Astronomy Australia Ltd advertised for a Program Manager to be responsible for overseeing research infrastructure projects, with a particular focus on identifying and supporting increased collaboration with industry partners. Further details about the job are available here. Applications have closed.

30th May 2016: The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Call for Proposals for semester 2016-B (Oct - Dec 2016) has been announced, with applications closing 30th June 2016. More details at: http://mwatelescope.org/astronomers/community-announcements.
Note: in 2016B, 800 hours of MWA observing time are available for allocation in the guaranteed time and open access categories. Due to the ongoing MWA phase 2 upgrade, general observing is only available in the last quarter of the calendar year. Note also that in 2016B, the MWA will be reconfigured into the new compact configuration, as described in the call for proposal document.

16th May 2016: AAL is pleased to congratulate the SkyMapper Team on the first public release of science-grade data from its five-year Southern Sky Survey. The data is available to Australian astronomers via the SkyMapper Node of the All Sky Virtual Observatory project, which has received funding from the Australian Government primarily through the National Collaborative Infrastructure Research Strategy (NCRIS) and NeCTAR.

15th April 2016: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access. Applications close at 5pm (AEST) Monday 16th May, 2016

21st March 2016: Proposals for Australian community access to the Magellan telescopes for Semester 2016B are due by 5pm AEST, Thursday 7 April 2016. Details on how to prepare and submit an application can be found on the ITSO website: https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/magellan/apply. A call for proposals for Gemini telescope time is also currently open, with a deadline of 31 March 2016 - see https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/gemini/apply. Australian access to these facilities has been enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and other research infrastructure grants.

9th March 2016: AAL would like to congratulate Andy Sheinis (AAO) on his appointment to represent AAL and Australia on the Giant Magellan Telescope Science Advisory Committee. The appointment was made following an open application process in February 2016. Andy has been appointed to the GMTSAC for a two-year term. 

26th February 2016: Proposals for Australian community access to the Keck telescopes in Hawaii for Semester 2016B are due by 5pm AEST, Tuesday 22 March 2016. Australian access to these facilities has been enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and other research infrastructure grants.  Details on how to prepare and submit an application for Keck time can be found on the new ITSO website at https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/keck/apply.

27th January 2016: Applications are now open for a position to represent Australia on the GMT Science Advisory Committee. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a next generation optical/infra-red telescope, and will have the resolving power of a 24.5 metre primary mirror. AAL is a founding member of GMTO Corporation and is entitled to nominate an astronomer to the GMT Science Advisory Committee.

Further details can be found on AAL's advertisment page. Applications close at 9AM AEDT on 10th February 2016.

2015

23rd November 2015: Welcome to AAL's newest and 16th member, University of Southern Queensland, and their representative Prof Brad Carter!

20th November 2015: We are delighted to welcome three new Directors to the AAL Board, following their appointment by the AAL members at our 2015 AGM: Prof Rachel Webster, Prof Matthew Bailes and Dr Rosalind Dubs.

Congratulations also to Prof Anne Green who was appointed as the Chair of the Board. 

We wish to sincerely thank the retiring Directors, Prof Brian Schmidt (former Chair), Prof Robyn Owens, and Prof Brian Boyle, for their significant contributions to AAL.

12th Nov 2015: AAL Board Deputy Chair Anne Green joins leading scientists, senior officials, and supporters from an international consortium of universities and research institutions today to celebrate groundbreaking for the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile. The ceremony marks the commencement of on-site construction of the telescope and its support base.

Australian involvement in the Giant Magellan Telescope project, at the 10% level, through partners AAL and the Australian National University, is made possible through contributions from the Commonwealth Government and through the Government's Education Investment Fund (EIF) and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

Groundbreaking Ceremony 18
Current and former GMTO Board members, and friends of the project, gather around the ceremonial Groundbreaking stone. AAL Board Deputy Chair, Anne Green, is at far right.

2nd Nov 2015: Registration is open for the ASKAP 2016 Survey Science Conference, 6-10 June 2016, Sydney. This conference will bring together the world's best minds in astronomy, engineering and ICT to share cutting-edge results from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope and to discuss future strategies for large astronomical survey observing and data sharing. More information and registration here.

26th October 2015: AAL publishes its 2014/15 Annual Report (7MB) and Financial Report (1.5MB).

25th September 2015: AAL advertised for three upcoming vacancies on the AAL Board – Applications closed 4PM AEDT on Friday 9th October 2015

21st September 2015: AAL advertised for positions on its Advisory Committees, Supercomputing Time Assignment Committee and  the new Multi-Messenger Astronomy Working Group – Applications closed 4PM AEDT on Friday 9th October 2015

4th September 2015: Call for proposals for time on the Gemini telescopes for Semester 2016A (1st Feb – 31 July 2016). Proposals closed Wednesday 30th September 2015. Australian access to these facilities has been enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and other research infrastructure grants.

18th August 2015AAL advertises for positions on the new Australian Keck Time Allocation Committee. Applications closed Friday 4th September 2015.

12th August 2015: Congratulations to the National Committee for Astronomy on the official launch of the Australian Astronomy Decadal Plan 2016-2025 at Parliament House by the Parliamentary Friends of Science Chair Mrs Karen Andrews MP. 

DP launch

7th August 2015: AAL was delighted to team up with AAO, CAASTRO, CSIRO, ICRAR and the Australian SKA Office to speak with participants at the 2015 IAU General Assembly about Australian astronomical capabilities.

IAU 2015 booth small

6th August 2015: AAL is delighted to announce that an additional five nights per year on the Keck telescopes will be available to Australian-based astronomers during 2016 and 2017, bringing the total Keck nights available via the national programme to fifteen nights per year. This time has been made available by the W.M. Keck Observatory to AAL via the Australian National University. The collaboration is made possible through the support of the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, via the Department of Education and Training, and an Australian Government astronomy research infrastructure grant, via the Department of Industry and Science.

In addition, the Australian National University, Swinburne University of Technology and AAL, who each have access to fifteen nights per year on Keck, have agreed to form the Keck Time Allocation Committee (KTAC). KTAC will provide a single interface for Australia-based astronomers who wish to request access to the total of forty-five Keck-nights available per year in 2016 and 2017. This model is designed to facilitate larger programmes and broader collaborations to maximise the scientific-return from Australia's engagement with the Keck telescopes.

AAL would like to thank the Australian National University and Swinburne University of Technology for the leadership in enabling the above programme. AAL has engaged the Australian Astronomical Observatory to manage and support this programme within Australia.

Details for how Australian astronomers can apply for Keck time in 2016A through KTAC will be available from the AAO's International Telescope's Support Office in late August.

10th July 2015: ANU have launched the All Sky Virtual Observatory SkyMapper Test Data Release, which provides a demo of the latest data access services for the SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey, using preliminary/test data. The community is invited to scrutinise the data and the access services and provide feedback to the ANU-SkyMapper team.

7th July 2015: AAL was recognised at the ASA Annual Science Meeting on 7th July, with AAL Deputy Chair Prof Anne Green being officially presented with the organisation’s Bronze Pleiades Award by Sarah Brough, Chair of the Women in Astronomy Chapter of the ASA. The Awards are a new initiative for the Australian astronomy community to monitor and improve the status of women, and AAL was commended for the positive steps towards gender balance on its Board and committees and the flexible working arrangements offered to staff.

Pleaides award presentation July2015 small

24th June 2015: AAL Chair, Brian Schmidt has been appointed the next Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (see ANU press release). Congratulations Brian from all the AAL Team!

24th June 2015: AAL Director, Prof Lisa Kewley (ANU) has been awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship for the project "The building blocks of life over 12 billion years". Congratulations Lisa from all the AAL Team!

Congratulations as well to Prof Matthew Bailes (Swinburne), who also received one of the 15 Laureate Fellowship awarded this year for his project "Exascale astronomy: real-time analysis of the transient radio universe".

3rd June 2015: The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization announces approval to commence construction of the world's first of a new generation of extremely large optical telescopes. Australian involvement in the Giant Magellan Telescope project, at the 10% level, through partners AAL and the Australian National University, is made possible through contributions from the Commonwealth Government and through the Government's Education Investment Fund (EIF) and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

GMT-2015-Sunset1_medium.jpg

19th May 2015: AAL is delighted to be sponsoring .Astronomy7 in Sydney from 3rd-6th November 2015. This is the first .Astronomy event held in the southern hemisphere, and will include a series of talks, multiple "unconference" sessions, and a hack-day working on innovative projects. Registration is now open.

12th May 2015: AAL congratulates the following astronomers who have been appointed to represent AAL and Australia's interests on overseas telescope committees and Boards. Their appointments follow an open application process conducted during March 2015, which attracted nominations from a number of highly qualified candidates.

  • Giant Magellan Telescope Organisation Board: Warrick Couch was reappointed to continue his term as Director on the GMTO Board until 31 December 2015.
  • Giant Magellan Telescope Scientific Advisory Committee: Chris Tinney was reappointed to continue his term on the GMT SAC until 31 December 2015, at which time he will transition to the GMTO Board, taking over from Warrick Couch. Therefore, AAL will readvertise the GMT SAC position in late 2015.
  • Magellan Science Advisory Committee (observer): Gayandhi De Silva was appointed for a two-year term as an observer on the Magellan SAC.

In addition, AAL appointed AAL Director Brian Boyle as an observer on the Magellan Council. AAL Director Lisa Kewley currently serves as an observer on the California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA) Board, which manages the Keck Observatory.

14th April 2015ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access. Applications close at 5pm (AEST) Friday 15th May, 2015

26th March 2015: AAO and AAL are pleased to announce the 2015 Australian Gemini, Magellan, and Keck Science Symposium to be held on 21-22 May 2015 at AAO, Sydney. Further details and registration here.

23rd March 2015: Call for proposals is now open for time on the Gemini, Subaru and Magellan telescopes. Proposals close 31st March for Gemini/Subaru and 10th April for Magellan. Australian access to these facilities has been enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and other research infrastructure grants.

11th March 2015: AAL was pleased to share a booth with the Australian National Data Service to help promote the NCRIS program at the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference held 11-13 March 2015 in Canberra. 

AAL ANDS booth UA conference

 

5th March 2015: Applications closed at 9AM 16th March 2015 for three positions to represent Australia on overseas telescope committees and boards:

  • The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a next generation optical/infra-red telescope, and will have the resolving power of a 24.5 metre primary mirror. AAL is a founding member of GMTO Corporation and is entitled to nominate a director to the GMTO Board and an astronomer to the GMT Science Advisory Committee.
  • The Magellan telescopes are two 6.5m telescopes operated by the Carnegie Institution for Science in Chile. AAL has purchased time on Magellan since 2007. The Magellan Council has invited AAL to appoint an observer to the Magellan Science Advisory Committee.

More details on advertisment page, but note that these positions have now closed.

Australian access to these facilities is enabled through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and Education Investment Fund.

17th February 2015: Congratulations to the GALAH team on their recent publication describing the cutting-edge science that can be done with the recently-commissioned HERMES instrument that was constructed under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, an Australian government initiative.

2014

15th December 2014: AAL is delighted to announce that we have signed an agreement with AURA giving Australian astronomers access to 7 nights on the Gemini telescopes in 2016. Funds for this agreement have been made available through the Australian Astronomical Observatory, a Division of the Department of Industry of the Australian Government.

This arrangement brings the total time available to Australian astronomers on 8-m class optical facilities in 2016/2017 through AAL's investments to 57 nights on the Gemini, Magellan and Keck telescopes.

8th December 2014: AAL has been awarded a Bronze Pleiades Award 2014 by the ASA’s Chapter for Women in Astronomy.  “AAL is to be commended for being proactive in monitoring its performance with regards to WiA aims. In particular, the positive steps towards gender balance on the Board and its flexible working arrangements.”

11th November 2014: AAL congratulates two of our Directors, Brian Schmidt and Brian Boyle, who shared in the prestigious 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, for their role in the unexpected discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.

11th November 2014: At our 2014 AGM, the AAL Members appointed two Directors:

  1. Prof Brian Schmidt was re-appointed to the AAL Board and re-appointed as Chair.
  2. Prof Lisa Kewley was appointed to the AAL Board. Prof Kewley is a Professor and Associate Director at the Research School for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Australian National University. Prof Kewley's research has comprehensively spanned theory, computational astrophysics, optical, infrared, and radio observations. She has received numerous prestigious prizes and awards during her highly productive career, including being elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2014 for her fundamental advances in understanding of the history of the universe.

Prof Stuart Wyithe retired from the AAL Board. Prof Wyithe served as a Director of the AAL Board from 2011 - 2014, during which time he served as Chair and Deputy Chair. AAL sincerely thanks Prof Wyithe for his important contributions to the company over the past three years.

7th November 2014: AAL has secured funding from ANDS and NeCTAR to further enhance the ASVO TAO and SkyMapper Nodes.  

31st October 2014: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access. Applications close at 5pm (AEDT) Monday 1st December, 2014

7th October 2014: AAL publishes its 2013/14 Annual Report (3.7MB) and Financial Report (10.8MB).

30th September 2014: AAL participated in the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Showcase, held in the Great Hall at Parliament House, Canberra. The showcase, coordinated by the Department of Education, highlighted the wide range and depth of Australian research being undertaken using facilities supported by the NCRIS scheme. AAL's booth was staffed by representatives from the AAL Board (Brian Schmidt), the AAO (Andrew Hopkins) and CSIRO (Jill Rathborne), as well as AAL staff.

2014-09-30 11.15.47
The Astronomy Australia booth at the NCRIS Showcase.

2014-09-30 13.37.14
Astronomy representatives and AAL staff discuss astronomy infrastructure with showcase attendees.
2014-09-30 14.06.57
AAL Chair, Nobel-Laureate Brian Schmidt, with school students from Western Australia at the NCRIS Showcase.

19th September 2014: AAL advertises for Non-Executive Directors on the AAL Board, and for Committee members. Applications for Board and Committee positions close 4PM AEST Friday 3rd October 2014

4th September 2014: Astronomy Australia Ltd congratulates Edward I. Moses, Ph.D on his appointment as President of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization. Dr. Moses, former Principal Associate Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will lead the organization responsible for the development of the billion-dollar, 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT).

7th August 2014: We are pleased to annouce the Second Webinar of Swinburne's HPC and GPU Webinar Series: "GPU Programming for Beginners". Monday 18th August 2014, 2:30 PM (AEST). Topics to be covered: Introduction to Shared Memory Architectures;  Why use GPUs?; Introduction to CUDA C; Using CUDA on gSTAR; Programming with CUDA C (Examples). This session is designed for users with no CUDA experience, however C/C++ experience is a prerequisite. Please register (using your academic email) on: http://goo.gl/hXjAk3

22nd July 2014: The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Brazil, has taken a critical step towards joining the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project, with the Executive Board of FAPESP approving the allocation of $40M towards membership in the GMT project (see press release for further details). This is great news for Brazilian astronomers and for the GMT partners, which include ANU and AAL.

5th June 2014: CSIRO and AAL are pleased to announce that funding has been secured to enable the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) to be equipped with a total of 30 Mark II Phased Array Feeds (PAFs), six of which will be installed on the central BETA antennas that are currently fitted with Mark I PAFs.
This has been made possible through an agreement between AAL and CSIRO in which AAL is allocating $6M of NCRIS-2013 funds for ASKAP early operations and CSIRO will provide a matching contribution to construct, install and commission six additional Mark II PAFs.

23rd May 2014: AAL is delighted to announce that ten nights per year on the Keck telescopes will be available to Australian-based astronomers during 2016 and 2017. This time has been made available by the W.M. Keck Observatory to AAL via the Australian National University. The collaboration is made possible through the support of the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

AAL would like to thank the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at ANU who enabled this additional access to the Keck telescopes to be secured via ANU’s existing partnership with WMKO. AAL also thanks the Centre of Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology who supported AAL’s engagement with WMKO.

AAL will work with ANU-RSAA, Swinburne-CAS and the AAO to investigate how to maximise the scientific-return from Australian access to the Keck telescopes. It is worth noting that from 2016 the ANU, Swinburne and AAL arrangements will enable Australian astronomers to make use of a total of forty nights per year on the Keck telescopes.

20th May 2014: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access. Applications close at 5pm (AEST) Friday 6th June 2014.

16th May 2014: Registration is open for the Extended capabilities for the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) community workshop, 15th - 16th October 2014 at the CAASTRO Headquarters, 44-70 Rosehill Street Redfern, NSW. This workshop will give the community an opportunity to discuss the possibilities and priorities for future expansion or upgrade of the MWA in order to leverage the value of the instrument and the investment to date to support enhanced scientific productivity. Registration is free and closes October 1st

7th May 2014: AAL is delighted to announce that the University of Western Sydney has become AAL's newest member.

16th April 2014: Congratulations to the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and the HERMES team on this world-class new instrument that was officially launched by the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, today at the Anglo-Australian Telescope, NSW. Photos from the launch are here. HERMES has received Commonwealth Government funding under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and Education Investment Fund (EIF).

26th March 2014: AAL signs a subcontract with Curtin University of Technology, under the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, to support the operations of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA).

24th March 2014: AAL is delighted to announce the launch of the Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory (TAO). The companion paper describing TAO can be found here. TAO is part of the All-Sky Virtual Observatory (ASVO) and is funded and supported by AAL, the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR), and Swinburne University of Technology.

28th February 2014: The Director of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Organisation, Dr Patrick McCarthy, will be giving the following talks about the science goals and current status of the GMT project:

  • Monday 3rd March 2014, 10AM-11AM, Swinburne University, Virtual Reality Theatre (coffee and nibbles at Haddon’s Café from 9:30AM-10AM)
  • Tuesday 4th March 2014, 1:30PM–2:30PM, Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra
  • Public Event: “The Giant Magellan Telescope: Solving Big Engineering Challenges to do Big Science”, Dr McCarthy in conversation with Prof Matthew Colless. Tuesday 4th March 2014, 6PM-7PM, ANU Law Link Theatre, Canberra.
  • Friday 7th March 2014, 2PM-4PM, ICRAR/UWA, Perth
  • Monday 10th March 2014, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Australian Astronomical Observatory, North Ryde, Sydney

26th February 2014: AAL signs a subcontract with Adelaide Research & Innovation, under the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, to support operations of the Pierre Auger Observatory cloud detector system.

25th February 2014: AAL signs a subcontract with Swinburne University, under the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, to provide a support service to help astronomers use Swinburne's GPU supercomputer (gSTAR) and other supercomputing facilities until mid-2015.

24th February 2014: AAL signs a subcontract with the Australian Astronomical Observatory, under the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, to support three projects: 1) operations of the Australian Gemini Office,2) maintenance of the Anglo-Australian Telescope building, and 3) operations of PLATO robotic observatories. AAL also signs a subcontract with the Australian Astronomical Observatory, under the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, to support PLATO operations.

21st February 2014: The Director General of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Prof Tim de Zeeuw, will be giving the following presentations on ESO in Australia next week: 

  • Monday 24th February 2014, 10AM, University of Sydney, Redfern Campus
  • Monday 24th February 2014, 2PM, AAO Large Meeting Room (Room 1, Ground Floor, Building 3)
  • Tuesday 25th February 2014, 2PM, Swinburne University, Virtual Reality Theatre
  • Thursday 27th February 2014, 3PM, ANU, Mt Stromlo Observatory
  • Friday 28th February 2014, 3:30PM, ICRAR/UWA
  • Friday 28th February 2014, 4:15PM (Tea and Coffee from 3:45PM). Public lecture: “Reaching new heights in astronomy - The European Southern Observatory”, University Club Auditorium, UWA.

17th February 2014: The Carnegie Institution for Science and Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL) have signed an agreement to continue Australian access to fifteen nights per year on the Magellan telescopes until 2017B.

AAL secured funding in August 2013 from the Australian Government’s NCRIS-2013 programme to support astronomical research infrastructure, including continued Australian access to large overseas optical telescopes. AAL consulted with the Australian astronomical community via its Optical Telescopes Advisory Committee who recommended that AAL invest NCRIS-2013 funds to maintain access to the Magellan telescopes. That advice was consistent with the high demand (mean over-subscription since 2007 ~3.5) by Australian astronomers to use the Magellan telescopes.

AAL would like to thank the Australian Government for their continued support of research infrastructure via the highly-successful National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

10th February 2014: Registration is open for the 2014 AusGO/AAO Observational Techniques Workshop, April 1st - 4th @ AAO Headquarters, North Ryde, Sydney. Presentations will be given by AAO staff and other local experts, and a Gemini expert will be available to help with software installation and hands-on data reduction tutorials.

10th February 2014: Registration is open for the "SkyMapper: Everything you Need to Know to Use the Terabytes" workshop, 7 - 9 April 2014 at Mt Stromlo, ACT. The program will include a demonstration of the SkyMapper data access services developed for the All Sky Virtual Observatory project.

31st January 2014: On Tuesday 4th Feb 2014, Bryan Gaensler will be speaking about cosmic magnetism as part of the Australian Academy of Science "Science Stars of Tomorrow" speaker series. Location: Shine Dome, Canberra. It will also be live streamed. Details here.

6th January 2014: AAL wishes you a happy new year and welcomes its newest committee members:

  • Astronomy eResearch Advisory Committee: Geraint Lewis and Chris Power
  • Astronomy Supercomputing Time Allocation Committee: Matthew Whiting and Chiara Tonini
  • Optical Telescopes Advisory Committee: Andrew Sheinis, Simon Driver, and Martin Asplund
  • Radio Telescopes Advisory Committee: Carole Jackson and Nick Seymour

We thank the outgoing committee members for their significant contributions: Andrew Hopkins, Andreas Wicenec (AeRAC); Sarah Brough, Michael Murphy, Quentin Parker (OTAC); John Dickey, Minh Huynh (RTAC); Geraint Lewis, John Lattanzio (ASTAC)

The full composition of our committees is available here.

 

2013

19th November 2013: AAL Members appoint new Directors:

  • Prof Anne Green was re-appointed to the AAL Board.
  • Dr Ian Chessell was re-appointed to the AAL Board.
  • Prof Ron Ekers was appointed to the AAL Board. Prof Ekers is a prominent Australian astronomer, and is currently a CSIRO fellow. He has served on numerous Boards and Committees, and played a leadership role in astronomy, both in Australian and internationally, including as Director of the ATNF from 1988 to 2003 and as President of the International Astronomical Union from 2003 - 2006.
  • Prof Brian Schmidt was appointed Chair of the AAL Board.
  • Prof Warrick Couch retired from the AAL Board. Prof Couch was a Founding Director of AAL, and served as Chair of the AAL Board from 2010 - 2013. AAL thanks Prof Couch for his invaluable input and leadership of the company over the past six years.

1st November 2013: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access.

31st October 2013: AAL has teamed up with Melbourne Planetarium astronomer Tanya Hill, to be the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Science Outreach Network (ESON) representatives in Australia. ESON local contacts promote ESO and astronomy news and outreach activities in their area and act as a point of contact with local media. For more on ESO news, images and events, check out the ESON-Australia website.

4th October 2013: AAL publishes its 2012/13 Annual Report

4th October 2013: AAL publishes its October 2013 newsletter.

1st October 2013: AAL signs a subcontract with the Australian Astronomical Observatory, under the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, to support operations of the Australian Gemini Office (AusGO) during calendar years 2013 & 2014.

26th September 2013: AAL signs a subcontract with the University of New South Wales, under the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, to enable operations and maintenance of PLATO robotic observatories that are supporting Chinese telescopes in Antarctica.

18th September 2013: AAL advertises for Non-Executive Directors on the AAL Board, and for Committee members. Applications for Board and Committee positions close 1PM AEST Friday 4th October 2013.

16th September 2013: AAL publishes a GMT project update.

24th August 2013: Prof Warrick Couch (AAL Director) and Mark McAuey (AAL CEO) attended the Third Mirror Casting Event for the Giant Magellan Telescope at the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory at the University of Arizona. Images from the event can be found on our GMT webpage.

16th August 2013: Applications are now [closed] for the Australia China Astronomy Collaboration Award. This is a DIICCSRTE-supported initiative, administered by AAL, to strengthen and increase collaboration and exchange between Australia and China in areas of astronomical science, technology and education, by enabling Australian astronomy researchers to visit Chinese collaborators.

26th July 2013: AAL signs a subcontract with Swinburne University, under the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, to provide a support service to help astronomers use Swinburne's GPU supercomputer (gSTAR) and other supercomputing facilities in calendar years 2013 and 2014.

3rd July 2013: AAL signs a subcontract with Curtin University under the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme to support operations of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope in calendar years 2013 and 2014.

7th June 2013: Funding has been secured to enable Australian access to the twin 6.5m Magellan telescopes on Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, to be extended through to the end of 2015. 

6th June 2013: The 2nd Collaboration Meeting on Antarctic Survey Telescopes was held in Tengchong, China from 26th - 29th May 2013.2013AST3collaborationMeeting-GroupPhoto small Astronomers from four Australian universities attended this meeting, along with AAL representatives Brian Boyle, Mark McAuley and John Storey. Australian astronomers have established active science collaborations with their Chinese colleagues in the areas of exo-planets and supernovae, and are currently involved in the analysis of the 2012 data retrieved from the AST3 telescope during the last traverse to Dome-A, Antarctica.

The three AAL representatives also attended the first AAL-DBRCAS MoU Working Group meeting, held in conjunction with the Collaboration Meeting. Actions from this meeting include the development of publication and data access policies for the collaboration.

23rd May 2013: AAL publishes its Quarterly Update

15th May 2013: The Australian Government has announced an additional $185.9M for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) over two years from 1st July 2013. This investment will support continued operation and maintenance of research facilities that enable world-class research and innovation in Australia.

1st May 2013: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access.

14th March 2013: AAL members appoint Stuart Wyithe to the position of AAL Board Chair until the AGM in November 2013. AAL congratulates out-going Chair, Warrick Couch, on his appointment as Director of the AAO. Warrick remains on the AAL Board as a non-executive Director until the end of his term in November 2013.

8th March 2013: Presentations from the 27 Feb 2013 All Sky Virtual Observatory Workshop available on the workshop website.

15th February 2013: AAL invites applications for nomination to the Giant Magellan Telescope Organisation (GMTO) Board. Applications have closed.

8th January 2013: AAL signs a subcontract with Curtin University for $400K to support the operation of the Murchison Widefield Array over CY2013-14.

2012

21st December 2012: The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education announces the outcome of applications for funding through its Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, with the Astronomy National Research Infrastructure project assessed as being a priority for funding. This project was submitted by AAL as the lead agent and Swinburne University of Technology as the partner higher education provider. Up to $3.474M will be awarded to this project to support ongoing operations of astronomy infrastructure over CY2013-14.

21st December 2012: AAL publishes its Quarterly Update.

30th November 2012: The Murchinson Widefield Array is officially launched! Over 50 VIPs travelled to the MWA site on light planes out of Geraldton and Perth for the formal launch of this radically new type of radio telescope in the radio-quiet Western Australia Outback.

2nd November 2012: AAL Members appoint new Directors:

  • Dr Brian Boyle was re-appointed to the AAL Board. Dr Boyle has recently taken up the position of acting-SKA Director within the Australian Governement's Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
  • Prof Robyn Owens was appointed to the AAL Board. Prof Owens is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Western Australia and comes from a background in mathematics and computer science research. She is one of the most prominent women in Australia's technology industries.
  • Prof Mark Wainwright retired from the AAL Board. Prof Wainwright's input over the last three years has been very much appreciated, and AAL thanks him for his service.

26th October 2012: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian supercomputing resources with dedicated national astronomy access, including the NCI Astronomy Flagship Program, Green II and the iVEC Epic supercomputers.

24th October 2012: The 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) announces the completion of its first large mirror - the world's most advanced astronomical mirror made to date. AAL is a 5% partner in the GMT project.

28th September 2012: AAL published its 2011/12 Annual Report.

21st September 2012: Congratulations to Graeme Carrad and his team at CSIRO, who received the Highly Commended Award in the Research and Development Category at the 2012 Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards for the upgrade of the Australia Telescope Compact Array C/X receiver systems. AAL received the funding for this upgrade from the Australian Government's Education Investment Fund (EIF).

12th September 2012: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of the new Swinburne University of Technology supercomputer, swinSTAR, in Q4 2012.

11th September 2012: AAL advertises for Non-Executive Directors. Applications have closed.

11th September 2012: AAL advertises for Committee members. Applications have closed.

25th August 2012: AAL signs an MoU on Antarctic astronomy with the Division for Basic Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences during the IAU's XXVIII General Assembly in Beijing. Read More

17th August 2012: AAL publishes its Quarterly Update.

29th June 2012: AAL announces the Wide-field Optical Astronomy from Antarctica: a Chinese-Australian Workshop, organised by AAL, CAASTRO and UNSW to define a plan for Australian contribution to science output from the Chinese AST3 project at Dome A, Antarctica.

16th May 2012: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian astronomy supercomputing resources including the NCI Astronomy Flagship Program, gSTAR and the iVEC Epic and Fornax supercomputers.

3rd April 2012The Giant Magellan Telescope Organisation outlines its plans to engage with the U.S. astronomical community (external link)

23rd March 2012"Big Bang" to start Giant Magellan Telescope (external link)

31st January 2012: ASTAC announces a call for proposals for use of Australian astronomy supercomputing resources including the NCI Astronomy Flagship Program, gSTAR and the iVEC Epic supercomputer.

16th January 2012: NeCTAR announces the results of its Request for Proposals, with AAL's "All-Sky Virtual Observatory" being named as one of five preferred Virtual Laboratory projects. This project is the first stage of a federated system of astronomy datasets and would federate data from SkyMapper and simulation data from gSTAR.

14th January 2012: Prof Warrick Couch and Prof Matthew Colless attended the GMT2 Mirror Casting Ceremonyat the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory (SOML) at the University of Arizona. Images from the event can be found on our GMT webpage.

2011

19th December 2011: AAL publishes its Quarterly Update.

8th December 2011: AAL signs an EIF subcontract with Curtin University for the MWA project.

11th November 2011: AAL Members appoint new Directors

  • Prof Brian Schmidt was re-appointed to the AAL Board. Prof Schmidt is a Laureate Fellow at the ANU and was recently awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Prof Stuart Wyithe was appointed to the AAL Board. Prof Wyithe is a Laureate Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and this year was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
  • Prof Jeremy Mould retired from the AAL Board, and AAL thanks Prof Mould for his service over the past three years.

4th October 2011: Congratulations to Professor Brian Schmidt, one of AAL's non-executive Directors, who has been jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

30th September 2011: AAL published its 2010/11 Annual Report.

5th September 2011: AAL advertises for Non-Executive Directors. Applications now closed.

5th September 2011: AAL advertises for committee members. Applications now closed.

5th September 2011: AAL publishes its latest Quarterly Update.

7th July 2011: AAL signs an EIF subcontract with the AAO for the near-IR arm of HERMES, and for AAOmega's detector upgrade.

30th June 2011: AAL publishes its second Factsheet: National High Performance Computing Access for Astronomy

27th June 2011: AAL publishes its quarterly update.

12th May 2011: AAL signs an EIF subcontract with Swinburne University of Technology for the GPU-intensive supercomputer gSTAR.

10th May 2011: AAL signs an EIF subcontract with Adelaide Research and Innovation (for the University of Adelaide) for the Pierre Auger Observatory cloud detectors.

2nd May 2011: AAL signs an EIF subcontract with CSIRO for the C/X upgrade of the ATCA.

2nd May 2011: AAL signs an EIF subcontract with UNSW for PLATO-R and Australia's contribution to the AST3 project.