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

Near-Field Cosmology at Virginia

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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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World Class Facilities at Virginia

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Pluto

Planetary Science at Virginia

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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

Like Peas in a Pod: UVA Astronomer's Survey of Young Stars Published

April 5, 2021

 

An international research group led by a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Virginia’s Department of Astronomy identified a rich organic chemistry in young disks surrounding 50... Read»

UVA Faculty and Student Research Feature

March 31, 2021

APOGEE observations of the warp in the Milky Way done by Steve Majewski, Xinlun Cheng, and Borja Anguiano are feature in the Charlottesville newspaper: The Daily Progress. Read the article here: ... Read»

UVA Astronomers among first projects on JWST

March 3, 2021

 

When the James Webb Space Telescope launches in October, it will be the world’s premier space science observatory. Its combination of high-resolution and infrared-detecting instruments is... Read»

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