Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science

The group’s present research spans a range of themes including Solar System and Space Science, the Interstellar Medium, Star Formation and Planetary Nebulae. The activities include infrared astronomy, astrobiology, astrochemistry, astrofluids and numerical astrophysics. The group is led by Professor Michael Smith, whose research is aimed at understanding the very origins of stars and planets. Professor Mark Burchell studies impact cratering processes, Solar System ices and astrobiology. Professor Stephen Lowry specializes in ground- and space-based observations of small solar system bodies, including Near-Earth Asteroids and cometary nuclei, as well the spacecraft missions to these bodies. Dr. Jingqi Miao develops sophisticated computational and theoretical models of star forming regions, studying their gravitational collapse and intricate properties. Dr. Dirk Froebrich is an authority on protostars, interstellar material and star clusters. Dr James Urquhart is a leader in the exploitation of large multi-wavelength Galactic plane surveys and has considerable expertise in continuum and spectral line surveys at submillimetre and radio wavelengths. Dr Mark Price specialises in the affects of hypervelocity impacts using a combination of experimental and computational techniques. Dr Penny Wozniakiewicz performs experimental studies of hypervelocity impacts and also analyses samples from asteroids and comets, including meteorites, micrometeorites, interplanetary dust particles and samples returned from NASA’s Stardust mission.