A/Prof Julia Bryant from the University of Sydney inside the SAMI instrument at the top end of the Anglo Australian Telescope.  CREDIT Scott Croom/University of Sydney
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Full article issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3D.

The complex mechanics determining how galaxies spin, grow, cluster and die have been revealed following the release of all the data gathered during a massive seven-year Australian-led ARC-supported astronomy research project.

The scientists observed 13 galaxies at a time, building to a total of 3068, using a custom-built instrument called the Sydney-AAO Multi-Object Integral-Field Spectrograph (SAMI), connected to the 4-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales. The telescope is operated by The Australian National University.

Overseen by the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), the project used bundles of optical fibres to capture and analyse bands of colours, or spectra, at multiple points in each galaxy.

The results allowed astronomers from around the world to explore how these galaxies interacted with each other, and how they grew, sped up or slowed down over time.

'The SAMI survey lets us see the actual internal structures of galaxies, and the results have been surprising,' said researcher Professor Scott Croom from ASTRO 3D and The University of Sydney.

'The sheer size of the SAMI Survey lets us identify similarities as well as differences, so we can move closer to understanding the forces that affect the fortunes of galaxies over their very long lives.'

Photo credit: 

A/Prof Julia Bryant, an ARC Future Fellow from The University of Sydney, inside the SAMI instrument at the top end of the Anglo Australian Telescope. Credit: Scott Croom/University of Sydney.