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Institute of Astronomy


Welcome to the Institute of Astronomy

Located two kilometers to the west of the city centre and set in a pleasant environment of gardens and woodland, the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Cambridge hosts one of the largest concentrations of research astronomers in the United Kingdom with 18 tenured academic staff, 70 postdoctoral fellows and long-term visitors, and about 45 postgraduate students. The range of research interests pursued is very broad, covering many aspects of exoplanets, stellar, Galactic and extragalactic astronomy both observationally and theoretically. There is an active visitor programme which gives astronomers at the Institute the opportunity to interact and collaborate with colleagues from abroad; visits last from a few days to a whole year. The thriving scientific atmosphere is reflected in a extensive programme of seminars and colloquia (there are talks on most days) given by international, national, and local astronomers.

Institute researchers utilise United Kingdom and international ground-based facilities, including the European Southern Observatory VLT and ALMA telescopes in Chile, as well as Chandra, XMM, Hubble Space Telescope, James Webb Space Telescope and other satellites. The Institute has an excellent record of success with applications for time on all of these facilities. In addition, there is an active involvement in research programmes which make use of the 10-m Keck and 6-m Magellan telescopes. Academics engaged on computational projects in small-scale (stellar) and large-scale (galaxies and cosmological) research areas make extensive use of the UK national Distributed Research utilising Advanced Computing (DiRAC) facility.

Select your intended level of study for detailed information on our courses.