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.


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Going a long way to do a quick data collection

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn’t fussy, it didn’t have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had a…

Why I’m proud to be a crystallographer

This year I have learnt more that it is probably healthy to know about crystal structures. I’ve learnt how you can turn a rabbit green with a protein, read up on French military history and marvelled at…

US plans to answer the lure of Europa

To planetary scientists Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is a Siren, calling out to them across the solar system. With its youthful surface, abundance of water and the tantalising evidence of a moon-wide ocean…

Who are the two new arrivals at Mars?

As I write this, a team of engineers and scientists will be nervously watching the clock (in fact they are probably in their beds not sleeping). They are waiting for the time when the Mars Orbiter Mission…
One of Saturn’s many moons, Enceladus seems to have a large body of water hiding under its icy crust. NASA

Waterworld? Cassini spots the motion of Enceladus’s ocean

An ocean of water has been found underneath the icy crust of Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth largest moon, according to observations of the Cassini spacecraft published in Science today. This result has come…
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Europa, the new spa destination of the solar system

Clays and geysers! All we need is a regular flight and Europa will become a spa destination to rival Iceland. It’s been an exciting week for me at the annual American Geophysical Union conference in San…
MAVEN’s on its way to Mars … but look at what we’ve sent to our other neighbours. NASA/Goddard

Another Mars mission … but what about the rest of the solar system?

Following India’s maiden Mars probe launch earlier in the month, last week saw the successful launch of the Martian Atmospheres and Volatiles Evolution mission, or MAVEN for short. With the second spacecraft…
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Impossible chemistry: making the unreactive, react

In my line of business, diamonds come under the heading “consumables”. Even the hardest thing known to mankind is sometimes no match for high-pressure science. Luckily since being in Australia (and since…
An artist’s impression of water particles ‘raining’ onto Saturn from its rings. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/University of Leicester

Space oddity: how Saturn’s rings are rainmakers

In space no one can hear you scream, but you may get a bit wet. In particular, if you were thinking of journeying to take in the sights of Saturn, it would be a good idea to pack an umbrella. This is suggested…
Meteorite iron harpoon.

Is the sky falling on our heads?

This was my week. Head buried in grant writing looks up “Oh, the Pope has resigned.” Goes back to writing, looks up a few days later “Oh dear, it seems that everyone has been eating horse.” Goes back to…
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Need to chill your beer? I’ve got the solution

It’s now my second summer in Australia. The first wasn’t too bad but this year the frequency of days in the high-30s is a little too high for this English girl. Today’s going to hit 39°C in Melbourne…
The “Rocknest” site has been Curiosity’s laboratory for the past few months. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

NASA’s Curiosity shows there’s more to life than life

The Curiosity rover has landed on Mars, driven around, started its scientific mission and, as of 4am today (AEDT), started reporting integrated science results. In a news conference at the American Geophysical…
It’s long been suspected that Mercury’s poles are home to water ice. That speculation has now been confirmed. NASA

Water ice found on Mercury – has the ‘heavy metal’ planet lost its edge?

Whenever I’m telling students or people at conferences about Mercury, I always describe it as the “heavy metal” planet. Many things on this closest planet to the sun are extreme, from its 88-Earth-day…


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