Funding Announced for Australian Centre of Excellence that includes University Of Toronto

TORONTO [7 Oct 2016] In September 2016, the Australian government announced $30.3 million in funding for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions, or CAASTRO-3D—an Australian-centred, international collaboration that includes the University of Toronto.

At the University of Toronto, Professors Bryan Gaensler and Roberto Abraham are CAASTRO-3D partner investigators. Gaensler is Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, and from 2011 to 2014 was the founding director of CAASTRO—the predecessor of CAASTRO-3D.

CAASTRO-3D combines international expertise in radio and optical astronomy, theoretical astrophysics, and computation in an “all-sky” approach to understanding the Universe by making and synthesizing observations of the entire sky.

CAASTRO-logoBy observing the cosmos with a wider field of view, higher sensitivity, and over a wider range of time-scales than ever before, CAASTRO-3D aims to answer fundamental questions in astrophysics, including the origin of matter and the periodic table of elements, and the origin of ionisation in the Universe.

In an ARC media release, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the ARC, Leanne Harvey said, “[The nine new Centres of Excellence] involve significant research collaboration which will allow the concentration of complementary research resources of universities, publicly-funded research organisations, other research bodies, governments and businesses, to support outstanding research.”

According to Gaensler, “The University of Toronto played an important role in the original CAASTRO centre that commenced in 2011, working on radio observations of evolving galaxies,” says Gaensler. “That contribution has been recognized by an expanded part in CAASTRO-3D, in which we will bring our unique skills in radio and optical astronomy to a range of problems, ranging from the birth of the first stars to the structure of the Milky Way.

“This is really fantastic news for the growing partnership between U of T and Australian astronomy. We look forward to the chance for us and our students to do more great science with our Aussie colleagues.”

(Written with contributions from the Australian Research Council)

The Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto is an endowed research institute with over 40 faculty, postdocs, students and staff, dedicated to innovative technology, groundbreaking research, world-class training, and public engagement. The research themes of its faculty and Dunlap Fellows span the Universe and include: optical, infrared and radio instrumentation, Dark Energy, large-scale structure, the Cosmic Microwave Background, the interstellar medium, galaxy evolution, cosmic magnetism and time-domain science. The Dunlap Institute, together with the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, and the Centre for Planetary Sciences, comprise the leading research centre for astronomy in Canada, at the leading research university in the country. The Dunlap Institute is committed to making its science, training and public outreach activities productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality or religion.