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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Success! New Horizons Team Sees Occultation by 2014 MU69

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, including UVA faculty, staff, and students, were deployed by the New Horizons team to a remote part of Argentina in an effort to catch the shadow of the object - an event that's known as an occulation. Several telescopes, including one operated by UVA astronomer Anne Verbiscer, were in precisely the right place at the right time to catch its fleeting shadow.

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

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 the faint distant Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 as it passed in front of a distant star. This Kuiper Belt object is the target of a January 1, 2019 flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft, which encountered Pluto in the summer of 2015.

UVa Astronomers Track Distant Star Cluster with Adaptive Optics

Research Associate Tobias Fritz, along with graduate students Sean Linden and Paul Zivick in Nitya Kallivayalil’s Near-field Cosmology group, combined images from Gemini South’s wide-field adaptive optics system with data from the Hubble Space Telescope to determine the proper motion of a distant cluster of stars. The observations, the first to use ground-based adaptive optics to precisely measure the motion of a cluster at such a large distance, allowed astronomers to set a lower limit for the mass of our Milky Way while providing clues about the cluster’s origin.

Written in the Stars

Associate Professor Kelsey Johnson hosted authors Dava Sobel (The Glass Universe, Galileo’s Daughter, Longitude, The Planets) and Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures) for a sold out show at the Paramount Theater on March 25th as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book.  Their lively discussion on issues related to women and minorities in the history science and space exploration received a standing ovation.

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News & Announcements

Girls Exploring the Universe (GETU) 2021 Virtual Summer Camp

July 20, 2021

We are now accepting applications for the Online Girls Exploring the Universe (GETU) camp. This program offers an astronomy focused experience for middle school-aged kids primarily in Albemarle... Read»

Seed Funding for Stellar Populations Research in the Local Universe

July 14, 2021

The Owens Family Foundation has selected Nitya Kallivayalil as a recipient of their funding in the amount of $84,000 per year over a three year period. This gift will be used to further her... Read»

Xinlun Cheng wins a Jefferson Graduate Fellowship

May 28, 2021

 

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation has announced the names of 29 students selected to receive one of its graduate fellowships; 25 selected to receive a Jefferson Fellowship and four... Read»

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