The department includes:

  • 16 UMass professors
  • 6 Five College Astronomy Department (FCAD) professors
  • 5 postdocs and research fellows
  • 116 undergraduate majors
  • 23 PhD students

Both undergraduate and graduate students play an important role in all our projects, from building ultra-low temperature cryogenic devices to studying the latest images from space-borne observatories. 

Astronomy is the study of the regions beyond the Earth: planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and the universe itself. Astronomers study these objects not only by observing them with telescopes and other instruments but also with mathematical and computer models. The department encourages learning in the areas of physics, mathematics, and computer science, as it is very useful in the field.

Astronomers use a wide range of equipment, including radio telescopes half a mile across, high-speed computers, and optical telescopes so big a truck could park on the mirror. UMass's use of the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) and high-powered computers prepares astronomy students with a firm background in astronomical uses of technology. The discipline ranges over many areas: radio astronomy, the study of stars, their structure and evolution, the origin of the universe and other astronomical systems, and the atmospheres and surfaces of planets. All these areas and more can be explored at UMass.