Institute of Astronomy
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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(2022-01-29)This thesis is concerned with looking for and characterizing microlensing events in two places that are relatively unexplored. Leveraging astrometry from the Gaia satellite, I search for predicted close stellar alignments ...
The atmospheres of bodies in the Solar system display a great degree of diversity in their mass and composition. Impacts onto these bodies by smaller objects, such as asteroids, comets and planetesimals left over after ...
Contrary to the standard lore, there is mounting observational evidence that feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) may also play a role at the low-mass end of the galaxy population. In this thesis, I explore that ...
(1987-02-26)The absorption lines found in the spectra of distant quasars provide a unique method of probing the physical conditions in the universe at early epochs. This thesis describes a study of the Lyman alpha forest absorption ...