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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is one of Australia’s largest public research organisations and custodian of much of our country’s landmark science infrastructure, including the OPAL nuclear research reactor, the Australian Synchrotron, accelerators, cyclotrons and neutron beam instruments.

More than 500 scientists, engineers and technicians work at ANSTO to answer the most important questions society faces today; whether in the area of health, environment or solutions for industry.

ANSTO’s international collaborations, including partnerships with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Shanghai Institute for Applied Physics, ensure Australian scientists are connected to a global network of experts and research projects.

As part of enabling a strong national collaborative network, ANSTO is connected with all Australian and New Zealand universities through the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE), providing researchers access to Australia’s nuclear science, technology and engineering expertise and infrastructure.

On average, ANSTO also accommodates over 1800 visiting researchers from other Australian and international research organisations each year.


Displaying 1 - 20 of 68 articles


Do aliens exist? We asked five experts

Even if aliens exist, are intelligent like humans and interested in making contact with us, what are the chances they’ll be close enough for us to hear them screaming their presence into the cosmos?
Caroline Spry

How a stone wedged in a gum tree shows the resilience of Aboriginal culture in Australia

An Aboriginal tree on Wiradjuri Country is much younger than anybody thought.
Pluto in enhanced color, to illustrate differences in the composition and texture of its surface. NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

I’ve Always Wondered: How do we know what lies at the heart of Pluto?

Pluto has a density between that of rock and ice – so that immediately suggests the dwarf planet is made of a mix of both. But how do we know?
Earth experiences constant volcanic activity - here’s Indonesia’s Mount Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa) photographed in July 2018. EPA/AAP

I’ve Always Wondered: Why are the volcanoes on Earth active, but the ones on Mars are not?

Compared to Earth, more “oomph” is required to bring magma to the surface of Mars, and this is probably why we haven’t seen any recent eruptions on the red planet.
Shown as bright orange and pink highlights under X-ray fluorescent light, birds incorporate metals like zinc and bromine into feathers as they grow. Nature Scientific Reports

Hidden feather patterns tell the story of birds

Ordinary grey bird feathers placed under X-ray fluorescence reveal beautiful patterns of elements like zinc, telling a story of feather growth and the environments the birds have experienced.
Jupiter, as seen from my garden in Sydney. The spacecraft Juno will soon be getting a closer view. Andy Casely

Juno is about to peer under the clouds of Jupiter

You’ve all heard the Planets Suite, right? Seven classical pieces that Gustav Holst used to ‘describe’ each of the known planets. I’ve always found the Jupiter piece a bit odd – the beginning is a little…
Titan’s Ligeia Mare in false color. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell

Discovering the bath scum on Titan

It’s not everyday that you get to discover something new. But when you do it is a rather strange and quite brilliant feeling. You don’t really cry out ‘Eureka’ (there’s usually about a million things going…
The icy mountains of Pluto tower above their surroundings, but would they be any good to ski on? NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI

When is Ski season on Pluto?

Just think, this time last year we knew next to nothing about Pluto. It was a fuzzy blob, with even the Hubble Space Telescope struggling to make it out. Fast forward to earlier today where in a press…
This enhanced colour image shows the traces of carbon on the surface, coloured here in blue. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Discovery of carbon on Mercury reveals the planet’s dark past

The discovery of carbon in the form of graphite on the surface of Mercury helps explain the mystery of why the tiny planet is so unusually dark.
Up into the imagination! John Polgreen/James Vaughan/Flickr

Scientists on their favourite science fiction

Have you ever wondered what real scientists think of science fiction? Here’s a selection of top pics from those in the know.
Ice Volcanoes on Pluto? NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Frozen cones on Pluto – the first discovery of ice volcanoes?

Ice volcanoes have shaped my life, and until today I didn’t even know if they actually existed. Now, thanks to NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, there’s a good chance we’ve found a frozen volcanic cone on…


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