Prof Penny Sackett

Honourary Professor
Climate Change Institute

Professor Penny D Sackett is a physicist, astronomer and former Chief Scientist for Australia.

Trained in the United States, she has held positions at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands, and the Australian National University (ANU).  As a Research School Director at ANU, she led the multi-million dollar effort to rebuild the world-renowned Mt Stromlo Observatory after it was destroyed in 2003 by bush fires, re-establishing it as an international centre for research, training, and high-tech instrumentation, and initiating its partnership in the Giant Magellan Telescope.  

As Chief Scientist for Australia (2008-2011), Professor Sackett provided independent advice to the Australian government on matters of science and innovation, and was a vocal champion of evidenced-based decision making.  She spearheaded the effort to introduce long-term, cross-portfolio and cross-disciplinary foresight into the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, and opened new channels of communication to the Australian public on matters of science, particularly those related to sustainability such as energy, water, climate change, food security and life-long learning.

Professor Sackett serves as Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, and is a member of the Business Advisory Board of the ACT’s Renewable Energy Innovation Fund.  She served for several years as a Science Advisory Board member of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Research interests

  • Planetary Science (Excl. Extraterrestrial Geology)
  • Stellar Astronomy And Planetary Systems
  • Kemp, L, Sackett, P & Jotzo, F 2015, Sub-National Climate Policies: How does the ACT compare?, ACT Cimate Change Council, Canberra.
  • Bakos, G, Csubry, Z, Penev, K et al 2013, 'HATsouth: A global network of fully automated identical wide-field telescopes', Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, vol. 125, no. 924, pp. 154-182.
  • Bayliss, D & Sackett, P 2011, 'The Frequency of Hot Jupiters in the Galaxy: Results from the SuperLupus Survey', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 743, no. 2, pp. A103-8.
  • Bayliss, D & Sackett, P 2011, 'The Frequency of Hot Jupiters in the Galaxy', Detection and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets, ed. F. Bouchy, R. Díaz and C. Moutou, EDP Sciences, unknown, p. 3.
  • Bayliss, D, Winn, J, Mardling, R et al 2010, 'Confirmation of a Retrograde Orbit for Exoplanet WASP-17b', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 722, no. 2, pp. L224-L227.
  • Evans, T & Sackett, P 2010, 'An a priori investigation of astrophysical false positives in ground-based transiting planet surveys', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 712, no. 1, pp. 38-51.
  • Bakos, G, Afonso, C, Henning, T et al 2008, 'HAT-South: A global network of southern hemisphere automated telescopes to detect transiting exoplanets', International Astronomical Union. Proceedings, vol. 4, no. S253, pp. 354-357.
  • Bayliss, D, Sackett, P, Weldrake, D et al 2009, 'SuperLupus: A Deep, Long Duration Transit Survey', International Astronomical Union Symposium 253, ed. Frédéric Pont, Dimitar Sasselov and Matthew J. Holman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 333-335.
  • Sackett, P, Gillon, M, Bayliss, D et al 2009, 'Transits against Fainter Stars: The Power of Image Deconvolution', International Astronomical Union Symposium 253, ed. Frédéric Pont, Dimitar Sasselov and Matthew J. Holman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  • Bayliss, D, Weldrake, D, Sackett, P et al 2009, 'The Lupus Transit Survey for Hot Jupiters: Results and Lessons', Astronomical Journal, vol. 137, no. 5, pp. 4368-4376.
  • Lewis, K, Sackett, P & Mardling, R 2008, 'Possibility of Detecting Moons of Pulsar Planets through Time-of-Arrival Analysis', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 685, no. Oct, pp. L153-L156.
  • Weldrake, D, Sackett, P & Bridges, T 2008, 'The Frequency of Large-Radius Hot and Very Hot Jupiters in ω Centauri', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 674, no. 2, pp. 1117-1129.
  • Weldrake, D, Bayliss, D, Sackett, P et al 2008, 'Lupus-TR-3b: A Low-Mass Transiting Hot Jupiter in the Galactic Plane?', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 675, pp. L37-L40.
  • Weldrake, D, Bayliss, D, Sackett, P et al 2007, 'Searching for Planetary Transits in the Lupus Galactic Plane', Transiting Extrapolar Planets Workshop, ed. C. Afonso, D. Weldrake, and Th. Henning., Conference Organising Committee, San Francisco USA, p. 90.
  • Bayliss, D & Sackett, P 2007, 'The SkyMapper Transit Survey', Transiting Extrapolar Planets Workshop, ed. C. Afonso, D. Weldrake, and Th. Henning., Conference Organising Committee, San Francisco USA, pp. 320-325.
  • Weldrake, D, Sackett, P & Bridges, T 2007, 'Searching for Planetary Transits in Globular Clusters - 47 Tucanae and Ï? Centauri', Transiting Extrapolar Planets Workshop, ed. C. Afonso, D. Weldrake, and Th. Henning., Conference Organising Committee, San Francisco USA, p. 289.
  • Weldrake, D, Sackett, P & Bridges, T 2007, 'A Deep Wide-Field Variable Star Catalog of Ï? Centauri', Astronomical Journal, vol. 133, no. 4, pp. 1447-1469.
  • Thurl, C, Sackett, P & Hauschildt, P 2006, 'Resolving Stellar Atmospheres 1. Hα line and comparisons to microlensing observations', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 455, pp. 315-324.
  • De Jong, J, Widrow, L, Cseresnjes, P et al 2006, 'MACHOs in M31? Absence of evidence but not evidence of absence', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 446, pp. 855-875.
  • Tingley, B, Thurl, C & Sackett, P 2006, 'The color signature of the transit of HD209458: discrepancies between stellar atmospheric models and observations', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 445, pp. L27-L30.
  • Sackett, P 2006, 'Detecting solar-system gas giants analogs in reflected light with ELTs', in Whitelock, P. A., Dennefeld, M. & Leibundgut, B. (ed.), The Scientific Requirements for Extremely Large Telescopes: Proceedings of the 232nd Symposium of the International Astronomical Union, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 356-361.
  • Beaulieu, J, Bennett, D, Fouque, P et al 2006, 'Discovery of a cool planet of 5.5 Earth masses through gravitational microlensing', Nature, vol. 439, no. 26 January 2006, pp. 437-440.
  • Tingley, B & Sackett, P 2005, 'A Photometric Diagnostic To Aid In The Identification Of Transiting Extrasolar Planets', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 627, pp. 1011-1018.
  • Weldrake, D & Sackett, P 2005, 'A Method for the Detection of Planetary Transits in Large Time Series Data Sets', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 620, pp. 1033-1042.
  • Dyudina, U, Sackett, P, Bayliss, D et al 2005, 'Phase Light Curves for Extrasolar Jupiters and Saturns', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 618, no. 2 I, pp. 973-986.
  • Weldrake, D, Sackett, P, Bridges, T et al 2005, 'An Absence of Hot Jupiter Planets in 47 Tucanae: Results of a Wide-Field Transit Search', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 620, pp. 1043-1051.
  • Sackett, P, Albrow, M, Beaulieu, J et al 2004, 'Planet II: A Microlensing and Transit Search for Extrasolar Planets', Bioastronomy 2002: life Among the Stars, ed. Ray P Norris and Frank H Stootman, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, United States of America, pp. 35-39.
  • Thurl, C, Sackett, P, Hauser, A et al 2004, 'Examining stellar atmospheres via microlensing', Astronomische Nachrichten, vol. 325, p. 247.
  • Weldrake, D, Sackett, P, Bridges, T et al 2004, 'A Comprehensive Catalog of Variable Stars in the Field of 47 Tucanae', Astronomical Journal, vol. 128, pp. 736-760.
  • De Jong, J, Kuijken, K, Crotts, A et al 2004, 'First microlensing candidates from the MEGA survey of M31', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 417, pp. 461-477.
  • Fields, D, Albrow, M, An, J et al 2003, 'High-Precision Limb-Darkening Measurement of a K3 Giant Using Microlensing', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 596, no. 2 I, pp. 1305-1319.
  • Neeser, M, Sackett, P, De Marchi, G et al 2002, 'Detection of a thick disk in the edge-on low surface brightness galaxy ESO 342-G017. I. VLT Photometry in V and R bands', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 383, pp. 472-490.
  • Dominik, M, Albrow, M, Beaulieu, J et al 2002, 'The PLANET microlensing follow-up network: results and prospects for the detection of extra-solar planets', Planetary and Space Science, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 299-307.
  • An, J, Albrow, M, Beaulieu, J et al 2002, 'First Microlens Mass Measurement: PLANET Photometry of EROS BLG-2000-5', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 572, no. 1 I, pp. 521-539.
  • Gaudi, B, Albrow, M, An, J et al 2002, 'Microlensing Constraints on the Frequency of Jupiter-Mass Companions: Analysis of 5 Years of PLANET Photometry', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 566, no. 1 I, pp. 463-499.
  • Albrow, M, An, J, Beaulieu, J et al 2002, 'A Short, Nonplanetary, Microlensing Anomaly: Observations and Light-Curve Analysis of MACHO 99-BLG-47', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 572, pp. 1031-1040.
  • ALBROW, M, An, J, Beaulieu, J et al 2001, 'PLANET Observations of Microlensing Event OGLE-1999-BUL-23: Limb-darkening Measurement of the Source Star', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 549, pp. 759-769.
  • ALBROW, M, Beaulieu, J, Caldwell, J et al 2001, 'H-alpha Equivalent Width Variations across the Face of a Microlensed K Giant in the Galactic Bulge', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 550, pp. L173-L177.
  • Albrow, M, An, J, Beaulieu, J et al 2001, 'Limits on the Abundance of Galactic Planets From 5 Years of PLANET Observations', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 556, pp. L113-L116.
  • Johnston, K, Sackett, P & Bullock, J 2001, 'Interpreting Debris from Satellite Disruption in
    External Galaxies
    ', The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 557, pp. 137-149.