TikTok star @astrokirsten named among top change-makers in 2021

Far out: Kirsten Banks, 24, known as @astrokirsten on TikTok, was named one of the top change-makers of the social media platform in 2021.

Far out: Kirsten Banks, 24, known as @astrokirsten on TikTok, was named one of the top change-makers of the social media platform in 2021.

This TikTok star is out of this world.

Bayside TikTok fan favourite @astrokirsten has been named in the social media platform's annual round-up that celebrates the most popular videos of 2021.

TikTok gives people the platform to discover, create, and share content they love. In 2021, more than billion people turned to TikTok to be entertained, find and share their joy with others, and learn new things.

'Year on TikTok' looks back at the creators, cultural moments, artists and trends that spread joy across Australia and around the world in the past year.

From those who shot to viral fame, to the breakout stars to watch in 2022, and the Australian TikTok change-makers who fought for causes that matter, this year's list is celebrates the worthy, the weird, the wacky wonderful.

St George creator @astrokirsten, 24, a Wiradjuri woman and astrophysicist, shares entertaining clips about the solar system.

Also known as Kirsten Banks, she has more than a quarter of a million followers. She teaches TikTok's community about the weird and wonderful in the cosmos and breaks down the complex world of astrophysics.

She studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in physics and is doing her PhD in astrophysics at the University of NSW.

"I talk about space and science," she said.

"I think my content resonates with so many because space is so mysterious and people are constantly curious about what's out there. If I mention anything about black holes or aliens, people will come flooding to listen and engage with that content."

The rising star joined TikTok at the start of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

"I couldn't do my science communication at schools or at public events like I used to so I joined. Now I have 270,000 followers - it's a great community," she said. "You can start from zero really easily. I didn't have presence at all when I joined."

She said being recognised for her popularity was amazing.

"To be nominated as one of five change-makers on TikTok in 20201 is an absolute pleasure ands privilege. I feel so honoured to inspiring change through my content," she said.

"One of the most important things to me about being so visible on social media is that I didn't have someone who looked like me, as a woman, or as an Indigenous person to look up to when I was young. The big part of it is being that person for the young kids and budding scientists of Australia today."

Her best performing video of the year was about a "black hole eating a neutron star - twice".

"It was two black holes and two neutron stars colliding together," Ms Banks said. "It went viral to like two million views. The black hole videos always do really well."

Chief Operating Officer of TikTok, Vanessa Pappas, said 2021 was a year for connection for 'TikTokkers'.

"We've seen people entertaining us, starting cultural phenomenons, and teaching us new things," she said. "It's been incredible to see the depths of entertainment and creativity from this community."