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 MUSE-Wide survey: detection of a clustering signal from Lyman alpha emitters in the range 3 < z < 6 

    Diener, Catrina; Wisotzki, L; Schmidt, KB; Herenz, EC; Urrutia, T; Garel, T; Kerutt, J et al. (2017-11)
  • The Kinematics of Quasar Broad Emission Line Regions Using a Disk-Wind Model 

    Yong, SY; Webster, RL; King, AL; Bate, Nicholas Frazer; O Dowd, MJ; Labrie, K (Cambridge University Press, 2017-09-20)
    The structure and kinematics of the broad line region in quasars are still unknown. One popular model is the disk-wind model that offers a geometric unification of a quasar based on the viewing angle. We construct a simple ...
  • Is there a UV/X-ray connection in IRAS 13224-3809? 

    Buisson, Douglas
    We present results from the optical, ultraviolet and X-ray monitoring of the NLS1 galaxy IRAS 13224-3809 taken with Swift and XMM-Newton during 2016. IRAS 13224-3809 is the most variable bright AGN in the X-ray sky and ...
  • The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Discovery of the Optical Counterpart Using the Dark Energy Camera 

    Soares-Santos, M; Holz, DE; Annis, J; Chornock, R; Herner, K; Berger, E; Brout, D et al. (Institute of Physics, 2017-10-20)
    We present the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) discovery of the optical counterpart of the first binary neutron star merger detected through gravitational-wave emission, GW170817. Our observations commenced 10.5 hr post-merger, ...

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