The Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA) is a national and international leader in Astronomy and Physics, through cutting edge theoretical and observational research and the application of new technology for the next generation of instruments and telescopes. As well as being a research leader, SIfA is committed to excellence in postgraduate training and research-led undergraduate training.

SIfA astronomers obtain observational data from major facilities in Australia, overseas, and in space. We also operate our own radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array Molonglo Prototype (SKAMP).  We also frequently receive observing time on the national facilities in Australia – the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT – optical) and the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF – radio). In 2017, Australia joined ESO as a partner and, since that time, SIfA has been a major recipient of observing time with the Very Large Telescope.

SIfA operates the Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Labs (SAIL) that develops new technologies for astronomy and industry and builds instruments for Australian and international telescopes. SIfA also forms part of the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO), partnered with the Macquarie University and the Australian National University.

SIfA is one of six institutions that makes up the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3D (ASTRO-3D).

What do we do?

SIfA has leadership or key involvement in several major surveys including the Kepler K2GAP survey, Galactic Archaeology (GALAH) survey of a million nearby stars, the SAMI Galaxy Survey, the OzDES galaxy survey, the FLASH survey of radio galaxies, and the UTMOST survey of fast radio bursts. SIfA scientists carry out supercomputer simulations of galaxy formation and evolution of large-scale structure.

SIfA scientists conduct research in many exciting frontline areas including stellar astrophysics, plasma astrophysics, cataclysmic variables, black-hole binaries, masers, pulsars, supernovae, and their remnants, the interstellar medium, and the Galactic Centre. Beyond our Galaxy, we study normal galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, clusters of galaxies, active galaxies & quasars, gravitational lensing, and cosmology.