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Highlights Planetary Materials
Planetary Materials

Highlights - Planetary Materials


Will you come and talk to our group/school?

Of course! We regularly give public lectures about our research and are more than happy to talk about what we do. What’s more, with the team based in Sydney and Melbourne we have good coverage of urban Australia. If you’d like us to talk to you, please either get in touch via the ANSTO Discovery centre or with us directly (see people page).

Why use ANSTO facilities to study the planets?

Here at ANSTO we apply many different techniques to understanding planets and the moons that orbit them.  However, one of the main techniques we use here is crystallography, and we've undertaken a number of public outreach project to explain what crystallography is and how it can help our understanding of our planet and beyond!

Crystallography that is out of this world! Dr Helen Maynard-Casely - Science at the Shine Dome 2015
Examples of past outreach events

We partnered up with the Hazelhurst community art gallery to talk about the science behind their recent ‘Patternation’ exhibit.

Our big project for International year of crystallography – ‘Crystallography 365, blogging   a structure a day’ has now been immortalised as an educational resource by the IuCr. You can access that here

Also you can still see some of the big crystal structures that were made in collaboration with UNSW, they are still moving around Australia! See for more information. 

Where can I read more?

One of our coordinators, Helen Maynard-Casely, writes a column ‘The Tides of Venus’ at the Conversation where she endeavours to highlight planetary science research going on in Australia

Planetary Materials News

  • Feature in Cosmos Magzine

    Feature in Cosmos Magazine

    Helen and Helen were featured in an article about their work in Cosmos magazine. Written by Bel Smith, you can read the article here. It’s a great wrap up of the work at ANSTO re-creating alien worlds in the laboratory.

  • Astrofest Sydney

    Astrofest Sydney

    We had a great time at Sydney Astrofest on 7 July 2017 , highlighting the planetary work that ANSTO does. It was a non-stop evening, we reckon we would have talked to nearly a thousand people! Thanks so much to Eleanor Reynolds and Michael Rose from the ANSTO Discovery Centre for coming along to take part, too.

  • Peaks in Space

    Peaks in Space

    Crystallography has done much to underpin and enhance our understanding of our planetary neighbours. From analysis of the samples plucked from space by audacious sample-return missions, to the detailed study of meteorites that have landed on our planet's surface. Analysis of the crystal structures within has been key to telling the story of these precious samples. There are no limits to the ends that a crystallographer will take to collect planetary data, to the point that there is now one diffractometer working another planet, Mars. This review will capture how crystallography has been used to all of these ends and reveal a number of opportunities for future application of the technique.

    Review of crystallography as applied to planetary science
  • Early Career Award

    Early Career Award

    Helen Brand and Helen Maynard-Casely were awarded the ANSTO Early career award for their work on Planetary Materials! Helen collected the award at the ceremony from NSTLI leader Simone Richter and ANSTO CEO Adi Patterson, and they celebrated with a selfie.

  • 3D printing

    3D printing paper

    Further to our aims of outreach in the project theme, one of our recent structures (the benzene:ethane co-crystal) was highlighted in a paper about 3D printing of crystal structures for education and communicating to the public. You can read the paper here, which includes the 3D printing file of the co-crystal in the supplementary files.