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 Lyman $\alpha$ forest power spectrum from the XQ-100 Legacy Survey 

    Iršič, V; Viel, M; Berg, TAM; D'Odorico, V; Haehnelt, MG; Cristiani, S; Cupani, G et al. (Oxford University Press, 2017-05-01)
    We present the Lyman $\alpha$ flux power spectrum measurements of the XQ-100 sample of quasar spectra obtained in the context of the European Southern Observatory Large Programme ‘Quasars and their absorption lines: a ...
  • Diagnosing galactic feedback with the line broadening in the low redshift Lyα forest 

    Viel, M; Haehnelt, MG; Bolton, JS; Kim, T-S; Puchwein, E; Nasir, F; Wakker, BP (Oxford University Press, 2017-05-01)
    We compare the low-redshift (z ≃ 0.1) Lyα forest from hydrodynamical simulations with data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. We find the tension between the observed number of lines with $\textit{b}$-parameters in the ...
  • Insights into the location and dynamics of the coolest X-ray emitting gas in clusters of galaxies 

    Pinto, C; Fabian, AC; Ogorzalek, A; Zhuravleva, I; Werner, N; Sanders, J; Zhang, Y-Y et al. (Oxford University Press, 2016-09-11)
    We extend our previous study of the cool gas responsible for the emission of O $\tiny \text{VII}$ X-ray lines in the cores of clusters and groups of galaxies. This is the coolest X-ray emitting phase and connects the 10 ...
  • Observational signatures of linear warps in circumbinary discs 

    Juhász, A; Facchini, S
    In recent years, an increasing number of observational studies have hinted at the presence of warps in protoplanetary discs; however, a general comprehensive description of observational diagnostics of warped discs was ...

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