Why Study Astronomy Online with Swinburne University?

Top researchers and excellence in teaching

SAO is a program run by the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing within the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Swinburne University of Technology. The Centre is one of Australia's largest astronomy teaching and research groups. Our instructors are research-active astronomers and sometimes include HiCi researchers (HiCi = High Citation: Researchers who have recently co-authored papers ranked in the top 1% by citations for their field and year) as well as astronomers listed in the top 2% of scientists globally. The Centre routinely receives a rating of 5 out of 5 ('well above world standard') for our research in Astronomical and Space Science in the Federal Government's `Excellence in Research Australia' exercise.

We are as excited and passionate about teaching as we are about research. SAO has won a number of prestigious local and national awards, including:

As of 2020, Swinburne University is ranked among the world's top 201-300 universities according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and it is ranked in the top 151-200 for Physics & Astronomy according to QS Top Universities.

Wide-ranging expertise and excellent research facilities

With expertise in optical, infrared and radio astronomy, as well as computational and theoretical astrophysics, we observe and simulate the most exciting astrophysical phenomena. Our research strengths cover all major areas of astronomy, from cosmology and the large-scale structure of the Universe to quasars and the most distant known galaxies, to clusters and groups of galaxies, down to our own Milky Way, its structure and fascinating contents including stars, planets, pulsars, neutron stars and globular clusters. For the last decade, our astronomers have enjoyed direct access to the twin Keck 10-metre telescopes in Hawaii, among the world's largest optical telescopes. Swinburne is also home to two of Australia's most powerful supercomputers. These are excellent research tools in key areas of astronomy ranging from simulations of large-scale structure formation to the processing of enormous data volumes collected from radio telescopes.

    Our Instructors

    We pride ourselves on the expertise of our SAO instructors - click here to read what inspired some of them to pursue a career in astronomy

    Our Students

    You can read testimonials from some of our students.
    Some of our students have also told us about their journey through SAO.
    You can also see where some of our dedicated graduates went at this link.

    Swinburne astronomy news

    For the latest news from the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing click here (scroll to bottom).
    For example, SAO Student Slawomir (aka Suavi) Lipinski had one of his astronomy images projected onto Brisbane's William Jolly Bridge as a part of "Stargazing Live, 2018". Or, your SAO Instructor Alister Graham reports here on his work with Hubble and Chandra telescope data, revealing a cosmic romance discussed further by the USA SyFy Channel's SyFy WIRE.

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