About this community

The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) came into being in 1972 by the amalgamation of three institutions which had developed on the site. These were the Cambridge University Observatory which was established in 1823, the Solar Physics Observatory (1912) and the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy (1967).

The IoA is a department of the University of Cambridge and is engaged in teaching and research in the fields of theoretical and observational Astronomy. A wide class of theoretical problems are studied, ranging from models of quasars and of the evolution of the universe, through theories of the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars, X-ray sources and black holes.

Much observational work centres around the use by staff of large telescopes abroad and in space to study quasars, galaxies and the chemical constitution of stars. A programme on the velocities of stars is conducted using the 36-inch telescope in Cambridge. Instrumentation development is also an important area of activity, involving charge coupled devices and detector arrays for rapid recording of very faint light and the design and construction of novel spectrographs.

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Recent Submissions

  • An ultraluminous X-ray source powered by an accreting neutron star. 

    Bachetti, M; Harrison, FA; Walton, Dominic James; Grefenstette, BW; Chakrabarty, D; Fürst, F; Barret, D et al. (2014-10)
  • The implications of a companion enhanced wind on millisecond pulsar production 

    Smedley, SL; Tout, Christopher Adam; Ferrario, L; Wickramasinghe, DT (2017-01-01)
    © 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. The most frequently seen binary companions to millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are helium white dwarfs. The standard rejuvenation ...
  • Quasars at the High Redshift Frontier 

    Bosman, Sarah Elena Ivana (2017-11-08)
    In recent years the formation of primordial galaxies, cosmic metal enrichment, and hydrogen reionisation have been studied using both refined observations and powerful numerical simulations. High-redshift quasars have ...
  • Numerical Simulations of Galaxy Formation During the Epoch of Reionization 

    Katz, Harley Brooks (2017-10-01)
    This thesis considers various topics and open questions in galaxy formation during the epoch of reionization and presents multiple new computational techniques developed specifically to study this era. This work naturally ...

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