Carl Knox / OzGrav
Massive flashes of energy known as ‘fast radio bursts’ have puzzled astronomers for years – and a new search for links to gravitational waves has so far found no connection.
Black holes and other massive objects create ripples in spacetime when they merge.
Victor de Schwanburg/Science Photo Library via Getty Images
Astronomers have for the first time detected the background hum of gravitational waves likely caused by merging black holes.
OzGrav / Swinburne / Carl Knox
By timing radio pulses from an array of galactic pulsars, scientists see hints of gravitational waves from supermassive black hole pairs in a breakthrough that may reveal hidden details of galaxy evolution.
When two massive objects – like black holes or neutron stars – merge, they warp space and time.
Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library via Getty Images
Upgrades to the hardware and software of the advanced observatory should allow astrophysicists to detect much fainter gravitational waves than before.
For years, astronomers have been detecting incredibly powerful pulses from the cosmos, without a confirmed source. Recent advances in astronomy are getting us closer to the solution.
VFTS 243 is a binary system of a large, hot blue star and a black hole orbiting each other, as seen in this animation.
Astronomers have discovered the first dormant black hole outside of the Milky Way. These black holes are not absorbing matter from a nearby star, making them incredibly hard to find.
The Hubble Space Telescope was born from a previous decadal survey. What leaps forward will come from this one?
The astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey for the 2020s lays out plans to search for life on distant planets, understand the formation of galaxies and solve deep mysteries of physics.
Concept of a black hole acting as a lens on background light.
Some black holes are isolated in space and therefore near impossible to detect.
What happened during the Big Bang?
How scientists are planning to listen to the sound of the big bang with a gravitational wave detector that would fit in a kitchen.
Carl Knox, OzGrav - Swinburne University
The aftermath of a black hole colliding with a neutron star has been recorded on Earth.
Carl Knox/OzGrav/Swinburne Univ.
Gravitational waves reveal the demise of super-dense neutron stars spiralling into their black hole companions - the first time such strange and exotic star systems have ever been observed.
Caltech / MIT / LIGO Lab
The world’s biggest gravitational wave observatory is now probing the limits of quantum mechanics.
NSF / LIGO / Sonoma State University / A Simonnet
A small add-on to existing gravitational wave detectors could reveal what happens to matter as it becomes a black hole, a process like the big bang in reverse.
The 2020 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science have recognised momentous achievements in astrophysics, sustainability innovation, epigenetics and primary and secondary teaching excellence.
Artist impression of merging black holes.
Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)
New discovery settles a wager between astrophysicists: black holes can merge repeatedly.
The 22-metre radio dishes of the ATCA telescope are 30 years old but still work just fine.
An upgrade for the Australia Telescope Compact Array will enable major new discoveries about the universe
A visualisation of a binary neutron star merger.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
The signal came in on ANZAC Day, ripples in space-time from the merger of two neutron stars an estimated 500-million light years away. But where it happened is still a mystery.
Ripples in space-time caused by massive events such this artist rendition of a pair of merging neutron stars.
Carl Knox, OzGrav
More ripples in space-time have been detected from merging pairs of black holes, one of which was the most massive and distant gravitational-wave source ever observed.
Visible light image of the radio galaxy Hercules A obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope superposed with a radio image taken by the Very Large Array of radio telescopes in New Mexico, USA.
Merging supermassive black holes would emit gravitational waves, allowing scientists to detect them.
An illustration of two neutron stars spinning around each other while merging.
NASA/CXC/Trinity University/D. Pooley et al.
Astronomers are now able to detect a host of signals streaming through the universe. This newfound ability is like gaining new senses and it’s opening the door to understanding the cosmos.