Ragbir Bhathal

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Dr. Ragbir Bhathal is an Australian astronomer and author, currently based at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), Australia. He is known for his work on Optical Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (OSETI). He did his Ph.D. in magnetism at the University of Queensland. He has served as a UNESCO consultant on science policy for the ASEAN group of nations, as an Adviser to the Federal Minister for Science and was the Project Director for the million dollar Sydney Observatory restoration building program.[1] Dr Bhathal also designed and built the twin dome UWS Rotary Observatory at the UWS Campbelltown Campus[2][3] and was Patron of Macarthur Astronomical Society from 1997 to 2011.


Dr Bhathal carries out research in nanosecond laser pulsed communications, astrophysics, galactic surveys, astronomical image analysis and processing at UWS. In December 2008, he observed a sharp 'laser look-alike' signal emanating from the globular cluster 47 Tucanae.[4] However, despite further searches, the signal has yet to be replicated.[5]


  • Bicentennial Royal Society of NSW Medal for services to science and research.
  • CJ Dennis Award for excellence in natural history writing.
  • Nancy Keesing Fellowship by the State Library of NSW.

Published books[edit]

  • Australian Astronomer John Tebbutt: The Life And World Of The Man On The 100 Dollar Note.
  • Under the Southern Cross: A Brief History of Astronomy in Australia (1991) (co-author with G.White).
  • Australian Astronomers: Achievements at the Frontiers of Astronomy (1996).
  • Australian Backyard Astronomy (2006) (co-author with J.Bhathal).
  • Profiles: Australian Women Scientists.
  • Selected Documents In Aboriginal Astronomy.
  • Aboriginal Astronomy.
  • Mt Stromlo Observatory: From Bush Observatory to the Nobel Prize (2013) (co-author with Ralph Sutherland and Harvey Butcher).
  • University Physics With Modern Physics(2011) (co-author with H.Young & R.Freedman).
  • Communication with extraterrestrial intelligence (2011).
  • The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum III. (2001) (co-author with S.Kingsley).
  • The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (2000).
  • Scientific and Cultural Aspects of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (1998).
  • Searching For ET (1996).
  • Astronomy for the Higher School Certificate (1993).


  1. ^ "Dr Ragbir Bhathal | University of Western Sydney". UWS. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Campbelltown Rotary Observatory | University of Western Sydney". UWS. 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  3. ^ "Campbelltown Rotary Observatory" (PDF). Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. 17: 176–178. 28 April 2000. doi:10.1071/as00176. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Bhathal, Ragbir (2010). "The Australian Optical Seti Project" (PDF). Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Callaghan, Greg (9 May 2009). "Watch this space". The Australian. The Australian. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 

External links[edit]