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

Star Formation At Virginia

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Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) at Virginia

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Instrumentation Laboratory at Virginia

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Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics at Virginia

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Astrochemistry at Virginia

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World Class Facilities at Virginia

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Planetary Science at Virginia

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Posthumous Paper Resolves Century-Old Mystery of How Stars Evolve

The discovery of subgaint stars opened the field of observational stellar evolution. Alan Sandage (Carnegie Institution) teamed up with Steven Majewski (University of Virginia), and Majewski’s student, Rachael Beaton (now a postdoc at Carnegie Institution) to delve into the history of the discovery of subgiant stars. They showed that the observations of the subgiants discovered at the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1935 were remarkably accurate.

First Annual Astronomy Undergraduate Research Symposium

On April 22, 2016, seven Department of Astronomy undergraduates participated in the department's first Annual Astronomy Undergraduate Research Symposium. Their names and poster titles are listed below. These students presented their research to the rest of the department in a fashion similar to larger astronomy conferences, such as an AAS meeting. From professors to fellow undergraduates, the event was very well attended and provided an excellent opportunity for the students to share and discuss their projects, while celebrating their accomplishments.

UVA Astronomers Find Oasis in Brown Dwarf Desert

In a new paper published last month in The Astronomical Journal, a team of astronomers led by Department of Astronomy graduate student Nicholas Troup has shown that the brown dwarf desert is not as barren as previously thought. UVA faculty members Steven Majewski, Michael Skrutskie and John Wilson in the Department of Astronomy collaborated on the findings as part of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, itself part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Astronomers had long expected that t

Undergraduate Student Martine Lokken Wins Minerva Award

Undergraduate Astronomy-Physics major Martine Lokken has won a Minerva Award from the University of Virginia College Council. Minerva Awards fund scholarly projects that will be conducted by College students during the summer. The award is named for the goddess Minerva, found on the University seal, who is the Roman symbol of knowledge and creativity, and it is this spirit that the Council hopes to promote with this award.

Science Highlights New Horizons Results

Anne Verbiscer (Astronomy) and Alan Howard (Environmental Sciences) are co-authors on several papers in the 18 March 2016 issue of Science which highlight results from the New Horizons Pluto Flyby.  The cover image reveals detail on Pluto's surface, as seen by the New Horizons spacecraft. At left is the bright, white Sputnik Planum, an informally named plain of nitrogen ice.  On the right are the dark red highlands of Krun Macula which rise 2.5 kilometers above the plains.

Graduate Student Wins ARCS Scholarship

Graduate student Trey Wenger has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Metro Washington chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, "a nationally recognized nonprofit organization started and run entirely by women who boost American leadership and aid in advancement of science and technology." Trey will use this funding to support his research on the morphological and chemical structure of the Milky Way.

VICUNAS Astronomy Partnership with Chile

The Univesity of Virginia's Center for Global Inquiry has awarded a grant to support the Virginia/Chilean Universtiy Network for Astronomy, or VICUNAS. The program leverages UVA’s 20 years of collaboration in Chile with a new, state-of-the-art infrared spectrograph – called APOGEE-2 – that will soon yield an unprecedented survey of the southern half of the Milky Way. Astronomy professor Steve Majewski and senior research scientist John Wilson are working with seven Chilean universities to operate the instrument, sharing time, knowledge and expertise and exchanging students.


News & Announcements

August 21, 2017 Eclipse in Charlottesville

August 18, 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017 residents of Central Virginia will be able to view the partial phases of the total solar eclipse crossing the United States.

Circumstances for Charlottesville:... Read»

Success! New Horizons Team Sees Occultation by 2014 MU69

July 19, 2017

On July 17, a primitive solar system object that’s more than 6.5 billion kilometers away passed in front of a distant star as seen from Earth. Twenty-four telescopes and dozens of astronomers,... Read»

UVA Students, Faculty, and Staff Chase Shadow of Kuiper Belt Object Across South Africa

June 8, 2017

Three UVA undergraduates along with Astronomy faculty and staff mentors have returned from South Africa, data in hand, after an attempt to place three UVA telescopes in the path of the shadow of... Read»

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