News and Events

Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Andrew Mizener

Congratulations to Astronomy graduate student Andrew Mizener, who received a Honorable Mention for the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).The Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards are given to recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students who present at one of the poster sessions at the meetings of the AAS. Recipients of the Honorable Mention receive a certificate from the AAS.

Read More
Monday, January 22, 2024
Amanda Lee

Astronomy graduate student Amanda Lee is part of a team led by Prof. Jin Koda (Stony Brook University) who has used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array to investigate how star formation occurs in the far edges of galaxies.

Read More
Monday, December 4, 2023
View of campus from the air

The department of Astronomy is seeking applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in theory, covering one or more of the areas of Time Domain Astronomy, Multi-messenger Astrophysics and/or related fields starting September 1, 2024. Deadline for applications is December 31st, 2023.

Read More
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Kate Whitaker

Prof. Kate Whitaker was selected last October as one of the 2023 Kavli Fellows by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS selected 118 of the nation's brightest young scientists from industry, academia, and government to participate in the 2023 U.S. and international Kavli Frontiers of Science symposia of the NAS. The selected scientists are recognised to be among those 45 or younger who are engaging in exceptional research in a variety of disciplines and have already made recognized contributions to science.

Friday, July 14, 2023
Katherine Whitaker

Astronomy’s Katherine Whitaker has received $799,007 to better understand how early galaxies “stalled” when the universe was forming.


Thursday, June 22, 2023
Summer Solstice June 21, 2023

Dr. Stephen Schneider shared this picture of the 2023 Summer Solstice with the Astronomy Department. He hosted an event on June 21, 2023 at 7:30 to discuss the relevance of the Summer Solstice. 

Thursday, June 1, 2023
Astronomy Graduates 2023

Many congratulations to our 2023 Astronomy Graduates. During Commencement on May 25th, 2026, they were accompanied by their advisors: Prof. Neal Katz and Prof. Daniel Wang. We all wish our graduates the best of luck for their future endeavors. 

Monday, May 22, 2023
Spiral Galaxy M101

Congratulations to Astronomy Senior students Daniel Krista-Kelsey, Samuel Millstone, and Liam Yanulis for awards from the Department of Astronomy, UMass.

Samuel Millstone received  the 2023 Outstanding Senior Award. Daniel Krista-Kelsey and Liam Yanulis received the 2023 Astronomy Awards for Academic Excellence. 

The awards recognize accomplishments from our seniors across multiple dimensions. More information can be found at:

UMass Astronomy Undergraduate Awards & Scholarships

Monday, May 22, 2023
David van Blerkom

 Congratulations to UMass Astronomy students Giselle Hoermann and Andrew Wright who have been awarded the 2023 David van Blerkom Research Scholarship.  The David van Blerkom Research Scholarship is an endowment fund established by Janet Van Blerkom. The purpose of the fund is to endow undergraduate research scholarships in the Department of Astronomy in memory of her husband, David J. Van Blerkom, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts. Professor Van Blerkom came to UMass as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1969, joined the faculty in 1970, served as Chair of the Astronomy Program from 1980-1999, and then continued on the faculty until 2001. This scholarship fund is awarded based on academic excellence to a University of Massachusetts undergraduate and supports a research internship for that undergraduate.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023
2023 Mary Dailey Irvine Outstanding Thesis Award

I am pleased to announce that the 2023 Mary Dailey Irvine outstanding thesis prize goes to:
Cailin Plunkett (Amherst College)
Thesis title: “Population properties of protoplanets: quantifying completeness in the presence of accretion”
Advisor: Kate Follette

Congratulations Cailin!

Mary Dailey Irvine Prize
This prize is established through a gift from the Irvine Family to the Five College Astronomy Department in memory of Mary Dailey Irvine (Smith College 1922). This prize exists to encourage and honor excellent undergraduate research in astronomy and astrophysics. The prize is awarded to a graduating senior from one of the Five College institutions for an outstanding senior thesis or research paper presented to the department on an astronomical or astrophysical topic.