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  Aug 21, 2017
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Astronomy Department 

Astronomy Program Information

The Astronomy Department offers graduate programs leading to the M.S., M.S.T. or Ph.D. degrees in astronomy. Requirements for these degrees are given in the Graduate Degrees  section of this catalog.

Planetary Systems: Observational and theoretical studies concentrate in the areas of planet formation, the dynamical evolution of planetary systems and the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets. Members of the department are active in Kepler Mission and ground-based Dopple surveys to identify extrasolar planets. Researchers are also active in studying the origins and orbital evolution of interplanetary dust and small bodies in the solar system and around nearby stars.

Stellar populations: Observational studies concentrate on resolved stars in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Studies of particular classes of stars include various types of binary stars and blue stragglers. The goal of these studies is to apply our theoretical understanding of stellar structure and evolution to the properties of stars in a variety of environments.

Origins of stars and planets: Observational studies focus on the properties of giant molecular clouds, the collapse of molecular cloud cores, the formation of stars in clusters and in isolation, and the formation and evolution of circumstellar and protoplanetary disks. The department is active in several star formation surveys, involving many international ground- and space-based facilities. Theoretical studies emphasize the development of analytic models and numerical simulations, as well as their testing against observational constraints.

Structure and evolution of galaxies: Observational programs use multi-wavelength photometry of stars and star clusters in galaxies throughout the Local Group and in nearby groups, including the Milky Way, to study galaxy evolution. Other observations focus on the structure and dynamics of galaxies and their interstellar medium using neutral hydrogen (HI) and molecules such as carbon monoxide.

Extragalactic astronomy and cosmology: Observational programs investigate the nature of ultra-luminous galaxies, active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and the formation and chemical evolution of distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Theoretical investigations focus on the emission/absorption features in AGN spectra, the star-formation and chemical-evolution properties of galaxies, and applications of general relativity and particle physics to conditions in the very early universe.

Instrumentation programs: The UF Infrared Astrophysics Laboratory is a world leader in designing and constructing advanced near-infrared and mid-infrared instrumentation for major telescopes around the world, including the 8m Gemini North and South Telescopes and the 10m Gran Telescopio Canarias. Instrumentation is also developed in the area of high precision Doppler techniques for planet searches and the development of high contrast imaging techniques for direct imaging of extrasolar planets.

Computing facilities: The Astronomy Department maintains a network of high-performance computers running Linux and OS-X. The local network is maintained by a full-time systems manager. Astronomy students have access to supercomputing facilities maintained by the UF High Performance Computing Center, including thousands of CPU cores with high-performance networking.


Degrees Offered with a Major in Astronomy

Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Science

Master of Science in Teaching

Return to: University of Florida Graduate Majors