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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(2018-07-01)We present a new 300 ks Chandra observation of M87 that limits pileup to only a few per cent of photon events and maps the hot gas properties closer to the nucleus than has previously been possible. Within the supermassive ...
(Oxford University Press, 2018-01-01)We present radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of radiatively-driven gas shells launched by bright active galactic nuclei (AGN) in isolated dark matter haloes. Our goals are (1) to investigate the ability of AGN radiation ...
(2018-06-05)Planetary systems around other stars have been observed to be far more diverse than what would be expected from the example of the Solar System. Exoplanets have been detected with a wide range of sizes and separations from ...
Accurate effective temperatures of the metal-poor benchmark stars HD 140283, HD 122563, and HD 103095 from CHARA interferometry (2018-03-21)Large stellar surveys of the Milky Way require validation with reference to a set of "benchmark" stars whose fundamental properties are well-determined. For metal-poor benchmark stars, disagreement between spectroscopic ...