What we do

Our research explores almost every aspect of the hunt for, and study of, planets outside our Solar System.

We use a variety of planetary detection techniques, including :

  1. Bullet"Doppler Wobble" searches for planets orbiting Sun-like stars, and sub-giants.

  2. BulletHabitable-zone planet searches of low-luminosity M-dwarfs.

  3. BulletMass and density measurements for transiting planets.

  4. BulletA new precision Doppler spectrograph “Veloce” for the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

  5. BulletImplementing the FunnelWeb stellar spectroscopic survey in preparation for the coming flood of TESS exoplanets.

  6. BulletMeasurements of the spin-orbit misalignment of transiting planetary systems

  7. BulletSecondary transit measurements of exoplanetary emission properties

  8. BulletDirect searches for the coldest planetary-mass brown dwarfs in large sky surveys, and measurements of their properties using photometry, astrometry and spectra.

Prospective PhD students from UNSW and elsewhere interested in working in exoplanetary science are encouraged to contact me to discuss possible research projects. I have funds to provide top-up support of $6000 per annum for PhD students with APAs or international scholarships.

  1. Top-up scholarships of $6000 per annum are available for PhD students working in our group

UNSW Physics Honours students can also undertake research projects in our group - details on projects currently on offer can be found to here.

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Publications

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Funding

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Students

  1. BulletPhD Projects

  2. BulletHonours Projects

  3. BulletVacation Scholarships

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW People

  1. BulletProfessor Chris Tinney - UNSW ResearchGate page,  Personal page and PHYS2160 (2015) page

  2. BulletDr Rob Wittenmyer (Senior Lecturer)

  3. BulletDr Duncan Wright (UNSW/AAO Lecturer)

  4. BulletDr Jade Carter-Bond (Adjunct Research Associate)

  5. BulletDr Jonty Marshall (VC Research Fellow)

  1. BulletMs Daniela Opitz (PhD student)

  2. BulletMr Matthew Davie (PhD student)

  3. BulletMr John Bentley (PhD student)

  4. BulletMy Jinglin Zhao (PhD student)

  5. BulletMr Ian Morrisson (PhD student)

Former Exoplanetary Science members

  1. BulletDr Stephen Parker (completed PhD in 2013)

  2. BulletDr Brett Addison (Mississippi State U, PhD 2015)

  3. BulletDr Jonti Horner (now at USQ)

  4. BulletDr Graeme Salter (now at Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille)

Our research has been supported through multiple grants from the Australian Research Council through the Discovery Projects, Australian Professorial Fellowship, Super Science Fellowship, Discovery Outstanding Research Award and LIEF schemes. Details can be found on our Funding page.

Contact details

  1. Prof. Chris Tinney

  2. School of Physics

  3. University of NSW. 2052

  4. Australia

  5. Ph: +61 2 9385 5168

  6. Fax: +61 2 9385 6060

  7. c dot tinney at unsw dot edu dot au

Australian Center for Astrobiology
- members in Astrophysics

  1. BulletProfessor Chris Tinney

  2. BulletDr Rob Wittenmyer

  3. BulletDr Brett Addison

  4. BulletA/Professor Jeremy Bailey

  5. BulletProfessor John Webb

  6. BulletProfessor Michael Burton

  7. BulletDr Maria Cunningham

  8. BulletDr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudzer

  9. BulletDr Duncan Wright

  10. BulletMr John Bentley

  11. BulletMr Matthew Davie

  12. BulletMs Daniela Opitz

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Links

  1. UNSW Astrophysics

  2. UNSW Physics

  3. UNSW Science

Miscellaneous links

  1. BulletSeen something weird in the sky? Want to know what's happening this month? Then visit Sydney Observatory's very cool blog.

  2. BulletDetailed analysis of AAO CCD non-linearity released.

  3. BulletCorrecting the SOFI shade

  4. BulletBefore moving to UNSW I was at the AAO for 12 years & was responsible at various times for IRIS2, WFI, UCLES, and the EEV & MITLL CCDs.

Finding Us

The bookmark on the google map below will get you to the main entrance of the 'Old Main Building' ('Old Main' because it was the home of the Chancellery, at the University's foundation)



  1. BulletThe
    Australian Centre for Astrobiology is a UNSW Centre in which the Exoplanetary Science
    at UNSW
    group plays a major role..
  2. BulletFunnelWeb - a huge survey of all the bright stars in the southern sky.
    Starting in 2016, we will implement the "HD catalogue for the 21st century", identifying young stars for exoplanet imaging and providing an input catalogue for the NASA TESS mission.
  3. BulletVeloce - a next-generation
    fibre-fed precision Doppler spectrograph for the AAT.

  4. BulletAnglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS) - searching over
    200 nearby stars for planets & finding over 40

  5. BulletCYCLOPS - a new model for fibre injection of an echelle spectrograph, enabling precision velocities for fainter stars.

  6. BulletPan-Pacific Planet Search - a search for giant planets orbiting sub-giant stars

  7. BulletNPARSEC - an ESO Large Programme to measure parallax distances for 60 T-type brown dwarfs at the New Technology Telescope over the next three years.

  8. BulletAST3 Exoplanet Working Group

This page last updated 24 November 2016


Our Major Projects



  1. Bullet1 Nov 2016 - Veloce gets an ARC Discovery Project grant to hire a post-doc to develop our data processing pipeline and do first science!
    If you’re interested in a post-doc at beach-side UNSW doing exoplanetary science apply here.

  2. Bullet5 June 2016 - Veloce, FunnelWeb and Luhman16AB posters presented at Cool Stars 19 in Uppsala, Sweden.

  3. Bullet19 May 2016 - Former PhD student Brett Addison's paper on the SPIN–ORBIT ALIGNMENT FOR THREE TRANSITING HOT JUPITERS  is published in The Astrophysical Journal.

  4. BulletRob Wittenmyer's paper on The Frequency of Jupiter Analogs (that's AAPS Paper XXIV!) is published.

  5. Bullet24 Feb 2016 - Rob Wittenmyer's paper on The Frequency of Jupiter Analogs (that's AAPS Paper XXIV!) is published.

  6. Bullet24 Feb 2016 - PhD student Daniela Opitz's paper on Searching for Binary Y Dwarfs with the Gemini Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics System is published.

  7. Bullet10 Feb 2016 - Pan Pacific Planet Search papers III and IV on  Five companions orbiting giant stars & Two Super-Jupiters in a 3:5 Resonance Orbiting the Giant Star HD 33844 are published.

  8. Bullet1 Feb 2016 - THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061 is published in The Astrophysical Journal

  9. Bullet16 Dec 2015 - The Exoplanetary Science at UNSW team has made their most exciting discovery yet - the closest potentially habitable planet found outside our solar system so far, orbiting a star just 14 light years away.

    The habitable-zone planet, more than four times the mass of the Earth, is one of three that the team detected around the red dwarf Wolf 1061. The larger outer planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone and is also likely to be rocky, while the smaller inner planet is too close to the star to be habitable.

    The discovery is accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The UNSW team made the discovery using observations of Wolf 1061 collected by the HARPS spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6 metre telescope in La Silla in Chile. More information and graphical material can be found at the UNSW Science Newsroom. A preprint of the accepted paper is arxiv, and here.

    Coverage includes: SMH, ABC Online, CNN.com, Telegraph, and many other outlets.

  10. Bullet30 Oct 2015 - VeloceCal is funded by a LIEF grant awarded to a consortium led by UNSW and including ANU, USQ, AAO, U. Sydney and Swinburne. Thanks to additional contributions by UNSW we are now funded at $1.1m enabling us to purchase a Menlo System laser comb for Veloce Rosso.

  11. Bullet5 Nov 2014 - Veloce Rosso is funded by a LIEF grant awarded to a consortium led by UNSW and including ANU, USQ, AAO, Sydney and Macquarie. Thanks to additional contributions by UNSW and USQ we are now fully funded at $1.65m!

  12. Bullet18 Sep 2014 - BABS 6741 lecture on Exoplanets

  13. Bullet17 Sep 2014 - Are We There Yet?
    A talk on 2 Decades of Exoplanet Discovery, what we've learned, and ways to move forward.

  14. Bullet29 August 2014 - an article in the magazine Science about the near-infrared detection of the cold brown dwarf W0855 and its implications for the presence of water ice clouds (published in ApJ), was the highest ranked news item for the whole journal on this day!

  15. Bullet21 June 2014 - Dr Rob Wittenmyer and team have announced the discovery of GJ832c - a habitable zone planet just 16 light years away. By some measures of habitability, this is the third most similar planet currently known to the Earth. See also the UNSW Newsroom release.

  16. Bullet5 June 2014 - Life in the Bear-pit: Being on a Grant Panel. A role-playing exercise for the Postdoctoral Academy at UNSW to give early-career researchers a "gut feel" for the difficulties of assessing grants.

  17. Bullet2 May 2014 - Chris Tinney discusses the incredible discovery of the fourth closest stellar system to our Sun - the ~250K Y dwarf W0855.

  18. Bullet28 Aug 2013 - ABC Online and ABC's StarStuff cover Brett Addison's WASP79b polar orbit result.

  19. See the News page for more details and an archive of older items.