Dr Cormac R. Purcell

Astronomer @ Macquarie University.

Picture of Cormac


I am a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. I specialise in using radio telescopes to investigate the interstellar medium, with a focus on magnetism and star-formation in the Milky Way.

I am particularly interested in using statistics and machine learning to unlock discoveries in 'big data' from new telescopes and surveys (e.g., ASKAP, POSSUM, GLIMPSE). These techniques are broadly applicable and I also work on cross-disciplinary problems in ecology and remote sensing.

Here you can find information on my research, software, teaching and outreach.

I am leading the organisation of the 'cross-sensing' conference in November 2019. This meeting aims to teach machine learning & modern e-research techniques and to bootstrap cross-disciplinary projects via an expert-supported hackathon.

Click on the logo to go to the conference website.

Drone & Satellite Workshop

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University hosted a free 1-day workshop on using drones and satellite data for research. The meeting was held on September 20th showcased research conducted using drones and satellites, but also to address practical questions on how to use these tools for research.
[Meeting web page].


The Friendly Virtual Radio Interferometer is Python software designed to simulate astronomical observations by arrays of linked radio antennas.

QU-fitting plot

RM-tools is a suite of scripts to analyse Faraday rotation in polarised radio-continuum data. Written in Python, it is available on GitHub.

IR & radio images.

CORNISH is a 5 GHz radio-continuum survey of the Galactic Plane. Observations on the VLA were tailored to find ionised bubbles around young stars.

NH3 in the Galaxy

The H2O southern Galactic Plane Survey imaged dense molecular clouds in 3D by detecting water and ammonia.

Parallax screenshot

The AstroParallax web page hosts a simple interactive animation that demonstrates astronomical parallax.
[Link] [GitHub]

Star-formation cartoon

Cartoon showing the observed phases in the birth and early evolution of a high-mass star.
[png] [Tarball: svg/pdf/eps]

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Dept. of Physics and Astronomy,
Faculty of Science and Engineering,
Macquarie University, NSW 2109.