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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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 

Ultima Thule Occultation in Senegal

University of Virginia astronomers Mike Skrutskie and Anne Verbiscer led a group of undergraduate UVA students to Sénégal to participate in a campaign to observe the occultation of a distant star by the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule. Ultima Thule is the target of a flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft on January 1, 2019. The occultation can reveal details about Ultima Thule, such as its diameter and may reveal whether it is surrounded by a ring or moons.

Rapid Results from the Gaia Data Release 2

UVA astronomer Nitya Kallivayalil was interviewed on German public radio about the very rapid prepartion and submission of papers just after the second data release from the European Space Agency's Gaia mission. Kallivayalil's paper featured the discovery of satellite galaxies that are falling into the Milky Way with the Magellanic Clouds (http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1805.01448). The paper was submitted within a week of the data release!

Virginia Initiative on Cosmic Origins

The Virginia Initiative on Cosmic Origins (VICO) officially began operations on May 1st. VICO is an interdisciplinary research program focussed on the formation of stars, planets and life in the Universe and supported by $1 million from UVa’s Strategic Investment Fund. Led by Prof. Eric Herbst, VICO brings together faculty from the Depts. of Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, and Materials Science & Engineering, as well as the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

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News & Announcements

Ilse Cleeves Awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering

October 15, 2019

Astronomy Professor Ilse Cleeves was awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering to support her research on astrochemistry and the formation of planets.  The award was announced by... Read»

Graduate Student Thankful Cromartie Leads a Nature Astronomy Paper

September 23, 2019

UVa Astronomy graduate student Thankful Cromartie led a paper published in Nature Astronomy detailing the discovery of the most massive neutron star ever observed. This work was conducted along... Read»

A New View of the Moon

September 10, 2019

A group of astronomers, including Craig Sarazin from U.Va., have made the first high-resolution, high-frequency radio map of the Moon.  The image, at a radio frequency of 90 GHz... Read»

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