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


    Marino Estay, Sebastián (2018-10-20)
    Planetary systems are not only composed of planets, but also of km-sized rocky and icy bodies that are confined within belts similar to the Asteroid and Kuiper belt in the Solar System. Mutual collisions within these belts ...
  • Fast Stars in the Milky Way 

    Boubert, Douglas Philip (2018-10-20)
    I present a comprehensive investigation of fast stars in the Milky Way, from brisk disc stars to stars escaping the Galaxy. My thesis is that fast stars are the smoking guns of extreme stellar collisions and explosions, ...
  • Spatially-resolved studies of nearby star-forming galaxies 

    Kumari, Nimisha (2018-10-20)
    Spatially-resolved studies of nearby star-forming galaxies are essential to understand various physical and chemical phenomena at play in the interstellar medium in the galaxies, and consequently to obtain a comprehensive ...
  • Observations of solar system objects 

    Spoto, F; Tanga, P; Mignard, F; Berthier, J; Carry, B; Cellino, A; Dell'Oro, A et al.
    Context. The Gaia spacecraft of the European Space Agency (ESA) has been securing observations of solar system objects (SSOs) since the beginning of its operations. Data Release 2 (DR2) contains the observations of a ...

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