A new Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence will answer fundamental questions in astrophysics including the formation of matter in the Universe—using cutting-edge 3D technology.

ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas, today launched the new ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), based at the Australian National University, receiving $30.3 million over seven years through the ARC Centres of Excellence scheme.

"This new Centre, to be led by 2015 ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Lisa Kewley, will use new 3-D technology to help unlock the secrets of the early universe and the development of elements that make up the periodic table," said Professor Thomas.

"ASTRO 3D will answer fundamental questions in astrophysics, to help build a picture of the evolution of matter, the periodic table of elements, and energy in the Universe from shortly after the Big Bang until the present day.

"The Centre will propel Australia to the forefront of astronomical research, to develop and use high-tech instruments that will be crucial for the next generation of giant optical and radio telescopes, such as the Giant Magellan Telescope and Square Kilometre Array.

"ASTRO 3D will involve researchers at institutions across Australia and overseas, including astronomers, astrophysicists, engineers and computer scientists. The Centre will also nurture young scientific leaders and encourage high-school students interested in STEM sciences through education and outreach programs."

Researchers based at The Australian National University will work collaboratively with The University of Melbourne; The University of Sydney; Swinburne University of Technology; The University of Western Australia; and Curtin University.

The University will also partner with the Australian Astronomical Observatory; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; California Institute of Technology, USA; University of Oxford, UK; University of Toronto, Canada; University of Washington, Seattle; Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy; National Computational Infrastructure; Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies.

The ARC Centres of Excellence scheme fosters significant collaborations between universities, publicly funded research organisations, other research bodies, governments and businesses in Australia and overseas, all to support outstanding research.

For more information about this Centre, please visit The Australian National University website.