Understanding how the universe works

Research in the Department of Astronomy focuses on the origin and evolution of galaxies and the planets, stars and star clusters within them. As galaxies form in the Universe, they provide the dense environments where star clusters, stars, and planets can form. In turn, the stars and clusters both provide the energy that drives the gaseous components of galaxies and transforms the chemical composition of their host galaxies through nucleosynthesis.

As the Universe evolves, stars and galaxies continue this interaction with increasing complexity. Galaxy mergers trigger episodes of star formation, and studies of the stellar populations in galaxies can tell us something about the history of their hosts. Exoplanet systems grow and evolve under the glow of their host stars. With active research on the evolution of exoplanet systems, stars, star clusters, and galaxies, we work together to understand the history and future of our Universe.