University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Galaxy Stars

Star Formation At Virginia

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Apogee

Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) at Virginia

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Apogee Hardware

Instrumentation Laboratory at Virginia

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Planet

Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics at Virginia

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Galaxy Stars

Astrochemistry at Virginia

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UVA Astronomy Team

World Class Facilities at Virginia

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Pluto

Planetary Science at Virginia

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Timothy P. McCullough, Jr. Scholarship in Astronomy

The Astronomy Department is pleased to announce the creation of the Timothy P. McCullough, Jr. Scholarship in Astronomy, named for Dr. McCullough (1910-2004), who was a research physicist and radio astronomer at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. Dr. McCullough made some of the first radio measurements of many objects in the Solar System. His radio measurements of Venus were among the first to indicate that Venus had a very high surface temperature. He also studied Mars and Jupiter. Later, his interest turned to supernovas, galaxies, and solar flares. Dr.

Spinning black hole has rapidly pivoting jets

Astronomers, including Craig Sarazin from U.Va., have discovered jets shooting out at nearly the speed of light from the regions around a black hole, and which are changing their direction rapidly (minutes to hours).  This reorientation of the jets is due to the Lense-Thirring Precession, an effect predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.  This effect is expected to occur near a rotating black hole, and is caused by the rotating black hole dragging space and time around with it as it rotates.  This is believed to be the first direct observation of the Lense-Thirring Precession

Mengyao Liu Wins Two Prestigious Awards

Graduate student Mengyao Liu has been selected as a 2019-2020 Jefferson Scholars Foundation Dissertation Year Fellow. The merit based fellowships are designed to "identify Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates who demonstrate outstanding achievement and the highest promise as scholars, teachers, public servants, and business leaders in the United States and beyond. Once selected, Jefferson Fellows are charged with furthering the quality of education, intellectual life, and mission of the University."

Spiraling Giants: Witnessing the Birth of a Massive Binary Star

An international group of astronomers, including Jonathan Tan from the University of Virginia, have made observations of a molecular cloud that is collapsing to form two massive protostars that will eventually become a binary star system. The observations showed that, even at this early stage, the cloud contains two objects: a massive “primary” central star and another “secondary” forming star, with a combined mass of at least 18 times that of our Sun. For the first time, the researchers were able to use these observations to deduce the dynamics of the system.

UVa Astronomer Helps to Image Ultima Thule

Anne Verbiscer,  Research Professor in Astronomy, is the Assistant Project Scientist for NASA’s New Horizons Mission, which flew by Ultima Thule on January 1, producing the picture shown above.  Ultima Thule is the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.  Verbiscer was interviewed for the NOVA TV program which aired the following night.  She said: "When I first saw the images, I think I probably said ‘wow’ a million times.”  The NOVA program is available at 

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News & Announcements

Timothy P. McCullough, Jr. Scholarship in Astronomy

June 7, 2019

The Astronomy Department is pleased to announce the creation of the Timothy P. McCullough, Jr. Scholarship in Astronomy, named for Dr. McCullough (1910-2004), who was a research physicist and... Read»

Spinning black hole has rapidly pivoting jets

April 29, 2019

Astronomers, including Craig Sarazin from U.Va., have discovered jets shooting out at nearly the speed of light from the regions around a black hole, and which are changing their direction rapidly... Read»

Reaching for the Stars in the UVA Community

April 24, 2019

A University of Virginia-led program, “Dark Skies, Bright Kids,” has been bringing astronomy to local schools in Albemarle County for more than 10 years, opening up a universe of possibilities and... Read»

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