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

  • The influence of stellar birth environment on protoplanetary disc dispersal 

    Winter, Andrew (2019-07-11)
    Protoplanetary discs (PPDs) are the progenitors of planets and represent the material available for their formation. Recent surveys indicate that exoplanetary architectures are diverse and the processes that govern the ...
  • Exploring fundamental physics with gravitational waves 

    Mihaylov, Deyan Petrov (2019-08-31)
    In this dissertation I explore several topics in the field of gravitational wave astronomy. By means of introduction, I review the historical evolution of humanity's understanding of the mechanics of gravity, and the events ...
  • Chemical Characterisations of Exoplanetary Atmospheres 

    Pinhas, Arazi (2019-04-30)
    We examine the properties of exoplanetary atmospheres using state-of-the-art retrieval methods and theoretical models. The examinations include investigations of the chemical compositions and abundances, the cloud and haze ...
  • Internal and atmospheric structures of heated watery super-Earths 

    Thomas, Scott William (2019-07-19)
    Astronomers are discovering more and more super-Earths, planets around other stars whose sizes and masses lie somewhere between those of Earth and Neptune. We would like constraints on their composition to investigate ...

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