We're investigating the important role that supermassive black holes play in the life cycle of galaxies and studying the gravitational waves released when black holes collide.
Observational studies of massive black holes
We are discovering connections between the Universe's massive black holes and their host galaxies. By carefully analysing archival Hubble (optical) and Spitzer (infrared) satellite images, we are learning how the black hole's mass relates to the galaxy's morphology, and therefore how they co-evolved.
Using the space-based Chandra X-ray Observatory with our collaborators, we are also pursuing the discovery of a missing population of smaller black holes 100 to 100,000 times the Sun's mass. We also use the ground-based Keck Telescopes to measure black hole masses. Contact Profesor Alister Graham for more information.
The MeerTime project is a five-year program on the MeerKAT array, led by Swinburne, which will regularly time over 1000 radio pulsars to perform tests of relativistic gravity, search for the gravitational-wave signature induced by supermassive black hole binaries in the timing residuals of millisecond pulsars, explore the interior of neutron stars through a pulsar glitch monitoring programme, explore the origin and evolution of binary pulsars, monitor the swarms of pulsars that inhabit globular clusters, and monitor radio magnetars.
Parkes Pulsar Timing Array
Swinburne is a foundation partner in the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project, which monitors 24 millisecond pulsars with the iconic 64-metre Parkes radio telescope for the primary goal of studying the low-frequency gravitational wave universe.
Image credit: James Josephides (Swinburne Astronomy Productions) and Professor Alister Graham.