Our Research Interests
Gamma-ray bursts are violent phenomena signaling the birth of a new stellar-mass black hole in the Universe. Using optical observations of these events allows one to probe the physics at play during the phenomenon.
Gamma-ray bursts are like explosions: their observations give very few clues about the explosive themselves. The researches conducted at the observatory aim to gather all possible evidence to explain which kind of stellar body can produce them.
Gamma-ray bursts are also powerful lighthouses of the Universe. Since their classification as extra-galactic events, numerous studies have been conduced to understand if they could be used as standard candle for various topics, such as measuring distance, or estimating the star formation in the early Universe. The observatory participates to such studies.
The observatory is dedicated to the discovery and follow-up observations of optical transients, including supernovae, kilonovae, and flaring stars.
These researches are conducted by two programs: a routine observation program of nearby galaxies, occurring each night, and a dedicated alert program linked to multi-messenger astronomy.
Multi-messenger astronomy is the part of astronomy led by non-photonic observations (neutrinos, cosmic rays, and gravitational waves) which are combined with photonic observations (in any band of the electromagnetic spectrum).
The observatory is involved into researches done with the ANTARES neutrino detector, the gravitational wave observatory LIGO, and the cosmic-ray detector CTA, to search for coincident transient phenomena.
Planetary defense is the part of astronomy linked to man-made objects and threatening natural bodies such as Earth impactors.
The Zadko telescope is located at a unique longitude between planetary defense telescopes in Chile and South Africa. This enables it to target follow-up observations (orbit tracking) of near-Earth objects (NEOs) that would otherwise not be possible.
UWA is developing a NEO follow up program ensuring a unique scientific contribution to planetary defense. In addition, UWA participates in global planetary defense exercises that are led by the International Asteroid Warning Network. Collaboration partners include University of Arizona, University of new South Wales and the European Space Agency.
Australian and International Collaborations
The Zadko Observatory is a member of several Australian-based collaborations, and partners with even more international industry partners and scientific collaborations.