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The Department of Astronomy guides students at the undergraduate and graduate levels toward the advanced mathematical skills and physical insight they need to understand the nature of the universe from the modern scientific perspective. The department offers three undergraduate concentrations: astronomy, astronomy and physics, and planetary and space sciences. It offers an MA for students interested in careers in scientific applications, scientific computing, and related fields, and a PhD for students interested in research and academic careers in astrophysics and space physics. The department has two outstanding affiliated research centers, the Center for Space Physics and the Institute for Astrophysical Research.


Department chair: Tereasa Brainerd
Campus address: 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 514
Phone: 617-353-2625
Fax: 617-353-5704

Collections in this community

Recently Added

  • Enhanced exoplanet biosignature detection from an interferometer addition to low resolution spectrographs 

    Erskine, David J.; Muirhead, Philip S.; Vanderburg, Andrew M.; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew (SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING, 2018-01-01)
    The physics of molecular vibration causes absorption spectra of atmospheric molecules to be a group of approximately periodic fine lines. This is fortuitous for detecting exoplanet biosignificant molecules, since it ...
  • A fast, very-high-energy γ-ray flare from BL Lacertae during a period of multi-wavelength activity in June 2015 

    Acciari, V.A.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L.A.; Arbet Engels, A.; Baack, D.; Babić, A.; Banerjee, B.; Bangale, P.; Barres de Almeida, U.; Barrio, J.A.; Becerra González, J.; Bednarek, W.; Bernardini, E.; Berti, A.; Besenrieder, J.; Bhattacharyya, W.; Bigongiari, C.; Biland, A.; Blanch, O.; Bonnoli, G.; Carosi, R.; Ceribella, G.; Cikota, S.; Colak, S.M.; Colin, P.; Colombo, E.; Contreras, J.L.; Cortina, J.; Covino, S.; D’Elia, V.; Da Vela, P.; Dazzi, F.; De Angelis, A.; De Lotto, B.; Delfino, M.; Delgado, J.; Di Pierro, F.; Do Souto Espiñera, E.; Domínguez, A.; Dominis Prester, D.; Dorner, D.; Doro, M.; Einecke, S.; Elsaesser, D.; Fallah Ramazani, V.; Fattorini, A.; Fernández-Barral, A.; Ferrara, G.; Fidalgo, D.; Foffano, L.; Fonseca, M.V.; Font, L.; Fruck, C.; Galindo, D.; Gallozzi, S.; García López, R.J.; Garczarczyk, M.; Gaug, M.; Giammaria, P.; Godinović, N.; Guberman, D.; Hadasch, D.; Hahn, A.; Hassan, T.; Herrera, J.; Hoang, J.; Hrupec, D.; Inoue, S.; Ishio, K.; Iwamura, Y.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; Kuveždić, D.; Lamastra, A.; Lelas, D.; Leone, F.; Lindfors, E.; Lombardi, S.; Longo, F.; López, M.; López-Oramas, A.; Maggio, C.; Majumdar, P.; Makariev, M.; Maneva, G.; Manganaro, M.; Mannheim, K.; Maraschi, L.; Mariotti, M.; Martínez, M.; Masuda, S.; Mazin, D.; Minev, M.; Miranda, J.M.; Mirzoyan, R.; Molina, E.; Moralejo, A.; Moreno, V.; Moretti, E.; Munar-Adrover, P.; Neustroev, V.; Niedzwiecki, A.; Nievas Rosillo, M.; Nigro, C.; Nilsson, K.; Ninci, D.; Nishijima, K.; Noda, K.; Nogués, L.; Nöthe, M.; Paiano, S.; Palacio, J.; Paneque, D.; Paoletti, R.; Paredes, J.M.; Pedaletti, G.; Peñil, P.; Peresano, M.; Persic, M.; Prada Moroni, P.G.; Prandini, E.; Puljak, I.; Garcia, J.R.; Rhode, W.; Ribó, M.; Rico, J.; Righi, C.; Rugliancich, A.; Saha, L.; Saito, T.; Satalecka, K.; Schweizer, T.; Sitarek, J.; Šnidarić, I.; Sobczynska, D.; Somero, A.; Stamerra, A.; Strzys, M.; Surić, T.; Tavecchio, F.; Temnikov, P.; Terzić, T.; Teshima, M.; Torres-Albà, N.; Tsujimoto, S.; van Scherpenberg, J.; Vanzo, G.; Vazquez Acosta, M.; Vovk, I.; Will, M.; Zarić, D.; D’Ammando, F.; Hada, K.; Jorstad, S.; Marscher, Alan P.; Mobeen, M.Z.; Hovatta, T.; Larionov, V.M.; Borman, G.A.; Grishina, T.S.; Kopatskaya, E.N.; Morozova, D.A.; Nikiforova, A.A.; Lähteenmäki, A.; Tornikoski, M.; Agudo, I. (EDP Sciences, 2019-03)
    The mechanisms producing fast variability of the γ-ray emission in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are under debate. The MAGIC telescopes detected a fast, very-high-energy (VHE, E  >  100 GeV) γ-ray flare from BL Lacertae ...
  • Evolution of meteor trails 

    Oppenheim, Meers (2019-08-20)
  • Formation of plasma around a small meteoroid: electrostatic simulations 

    Sugar, G.; Oppenheim, Meers; Dimant, Y.S.; Close, S. (American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019-05)
    Obtaining meteoroid mass from head echo radar cross section depends on the assumed plasma density distribution around the meteoroid. An analytical model presented in Dimant and Oppenheim (2017a, ...
  • Magnetic field uniformity across the GF 9-2 YSO, L1082C dense core, and GF 9 filamentary dark cloud 

    Clemens, Dan P.; El Batal, A. M.; Cerny, C.; Kressy, S.; Schroeder, G.; Pillai, T. (IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2018-12-10)
    The orientation of the magnetic field (B-field) in the lamentary dark cloud GF 9 was traced from the periphery of the cloud into the L1082C dense core that contains the low-mass, low-luminosity Class 0 young stellar ...
  • Mesospheric anomalous diffusion during noctilucent clouds 

    Laskar, Fazlul I.; Stober, Gunter; Fiedler, Jens; Oppenheim, Meers M.; Chau, Jorge L.; Pallamraju, Duggirala; Pedatella, Nocholas M.; Tsutsumi, Masaki; Renkwitz, Toralf
    The Andenes specular meteor radar shows meteor-trail diffusion rates increasing on average by ~ 20% at times and locations where a lidar observes noctilucent clouds (NLCs). This high-latitude effect has been attributed to ...
  • Externally dispersed interferometry for terrestrial exoplanet detection 

    Muirhead, Philip S. (2011)
    Terrestrial exoplanets are observationally challenging to detect and characterize. Compared to gas giant exoplanets, terrestrial exoplanets introduce significantly smaller radial velocity signals and transit depths on their ...
  • Simulations of secondary Farley-Buneman instability driven by a kilometer-scale primary wave: anomalous transport and formation of flat-topped electric fields 

    Young, Matthew A.; Oppenheim, Meers M.; Dimant, Yakov S. (AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2019-01-01)
    Since the 1950s, high frequency and very high frequency radars near the magnetic equator have frequently detected strong echoes caused ultimately by the Farley‐Buneman instability (FBI) and the gradient drift instability ...
  • A freshman seminar: energy -- the history of a concept 

    Hughes, W. (2018-06-12)
    This new freshman honors seminar, to be first offered in Spring 2019, uses the development of the concept of energy from the 17th to the 20th century to combine the teaching of both scientific inquiry and intellectual ...
  • Radii of 88 M subdwarfs and updated radius relations for low-metallicity M-dwarf stars 

    Kesseli, Aurora Y.; Davy Kirkpatrick, J.; Fajardo-Acosta, Sergio B.; Penny, Matthew T.; Scott Gaudi, B.; Veyette, Mark; Boeshaar, Patricia C.; Henderson, Calen B.; Cushing, Michael C.; Calchi-Novati, Sebastiano; Shvartzvald, Y.; Muirhead, Philip S. (American Astronomical Society, 2019-01-22)
    M subdwarfs are low-metallicity M dwarfs that typically inhabit the halo population of the Galaxy. Metallicity controls the opacity of stellar atmospheres; in metal-poor stars, hydrostatic equilibrium is reached at a smaller ...

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