News and Events

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Junior astronomy major, Aaron Dunbrack, has been recognized as one of the five honorees of the Rising Researcher Program at UMass Amherst.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Professor Daniela Calzetti is the recipient of the 2016 Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship from the Swedish Research Council. The Professorship is awarded annually to an internationally prominent researcher in the areas of natural and engineering sciences.

In connection with the Professorship, Professor Calzetti will be spending six months during the Spring and Summer of 2016 at the University of Stockholm (Sweden).

The official text of the award can be found at:

Details of the Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship can be found at:


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kaci Naughton, a freshman astronomy major on the Astrophysics BS track, is awarded the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURF) for 2015. She will be mentored by Kevin Harrington, who is a senior astronomy major and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College with an extensive research experience in the department.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

William Irvine, Professor Emeritus in Astronomy , has been elected to a second 3 year term on the Steering Committee of Division F of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Division F , "Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy", has some 1700 members whose research is supported by 3 Commissions --- "Meteors, Meteorites, and Interplanetary Dust"; "Exoplanets and the Solar System"; and “Astrobiology”. Professor Irvine is a Past President of the Astrobiology Commission.

The International Astronomical Union was founded in 1919 with the mission of promoting and safeguarding the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its more than 11,000 individual members from 73 countries are professional astronomers from all over the world at the Ph.D. level and beyond. The scientific and educational activities of the IAU are organized by its 9 scientific Divisions and through its specialized Commissions and Working Groups. The long-term policy of the IAU is defined by the triennial General Assembly and implemented by the Executive Committee. The American Astronomical Society and UMass’ Department of Astronomy are sending Professor Irvine to participate in this year’s General Assembly in Honolulu.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UMass Amherst Sunwheel and sky-watching events mark the Summer Solstice on June 21.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dennis Overbye's latest video, currently on the front page of the New York Times online, features videos by Professor James Lowenthal (Smith College/FCAD Professor) from the LMT/GTM, which is an important part of the new Event Horizon Telescope project.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Astronomy major Aaron Dunbrack '17 one of four winners of the 2015 Barry Goldwater Scholarship in Education. Professor Daniel Wang is the faculty sponsor.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Astronomy Department is proud to announce the recent graduation of 11 Astronomy majors. Commencement was held on Friday, May 8, 2015, and a Senior Celebration was held by CNS, as well as the departments of Physics and Astronomy, on Saturday, May 9, 2015. The graduating seniors are Michael Buckley, Sean Fidler, Christian Haughwout, Joseph Howlett, Nathan Kimmitt, Rebekah Kovach, Stephen Mahala, Michael Molinsky, Alex Schwartz and Tazeem Siddiqui and Katherine Sisson. In addition, Ryan Horton will graduate in Summer 2015 when he returns from his year abroad at Heidelberg University.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Randall Rojas Bolivar, a junior astronomy major, has been awarded the William F. Field Scholarship, awarded by the UMass Alumni Association.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Aaron Dunbrack, a sophomore majoring in astronomy and physics, has been named a Goldwater Scholar