Lee Spitler

Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Sydney, Australia

My research aims to improve our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve through cosmic times. Galaxies host all the really interesting things about the universe (e.g. stars, dust, life), so their study can tell us a lot about the universe we live in.

I am currently a member of the ZFOURGE team, who are using the FourStar camera on the Magellan Telescope in Chile to obtain near-infrared images of some well-studied locations in the sky. We are using this data to look back into time and measure very accurate distances to galaxies when the Universe was only a few billion years old.

Complementary to this approach is the study of very nearby galaxies, which have already experienced billions of years of evolution. I am now leading efforts to setup a southern hemisphere version of the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, a new observing system that uses Canon telephoto lenses to image extremely diffuse stellar structures. You can follow our Huntsman project on Twitter and Facebook.

Another collaboration, called SAGES, is using instruments on the Keck and Subaru telescopes in Hawaii to obtain information about the dynamical properties of galaxies in order to understand the dark matter structures they reside within. Our primary observational tools are globular star clusters, which we use to probe the outer regions of galaxies where conventional dynamical tracers are no longer available. Check out the website for the SLUGGS survey.


September 2015 - Huntsman Eye being cleaned.

February 2015 -  Huntsman project's Twitter and Facebook pages.

September 2014 - We found a supermassive black hole in an unexpected stellar system

Below are sections of Subaru/Suprime-cam mosaics I've made
Click here to see more images I've produced.

the Sombrero galaxy

massive elliptical galaxy NGC1407
NGC 1407