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

  • ALMA observations of the η Corvi debris disc: Inward scattering of CO-rich exocomets by a chain of 3-30 M⊕ planets? 

    Marino, S; Wyatt, MC; Panić, O; Matrà, L; Kennedy, GM; Bonsor, A; Kral, Q et al. (Oxford University Press, 2017-01-01)
    While most of the known debris discs present cold dust at tens of astronomical unit (au), a few young systems exhibit hot dust analogous to the Zodiacal dust. η Corvi is particularly interesting as it is old and it has ...
  • Exocometary gas in the HD 181327 debris ring 

    Marino, S; Matrà, L; Stark, C; Wyatt, MC; Casassus, S; Kennedy, G; Rodriguez, D et al. (Oxford University Press, 2016-05-23)
    An increasing number of observations have shown that gaseous debris discs are not an exception. However, until now, we only knew of cases around A stars. Here we present the first detection of 12CO (2-1) disc emission ...
  • ALMA Observations of the Debris Disk of Solar Analogue τ Ceti 

    MacGregor, MA; Lawler, SM; Wilner, DJ; Matthews, BC; Kennedy, GM; Booth, M; Francesco, JD (American Astronomical Society, 2016-09-10)
    We present 1.3 mm observations of the Sun-like star τ Ceti with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array that probe angular scales of (4 au). This first interferometric image of the τ Ceti system, which hosts both ...
  • Early science with the Large Millimetre Telescope: Deep LMT/AzTEC millimetre observations of ϵ Eridani and its surroundings 

    Chavez-Dagostino, M; Bertone, E; de Miera, FCS; Marshall, JP; Wilson, GW; Śanchez-Argüelles, D; Hughes, DH et al. (Oxford University Press, 2016-11-01)
    ϵ Eridani is a nearby, young Sun-like star that hosts a ring of cool debris analogous to the Solar system's Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. Early observations at (sub-)mm wavelengths gave tentative evidence of the presence of ...

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