News and Events

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Watch the sunrise webinar recording here and sunset one here


Monday, December 21, 2020
To mark the sun reaching its southerly extreme and the start of astronomical winter, astronomers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will give live presentations via webinar from the campus’s unique Sunwheel at 7:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21. The online sessions are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Special thanks to Grad Student Alyssa Sokol for putting together our department newsletter!

[PDF] /sites/default/files/Newsletter_Astronomy_update.pdf


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Astronomers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are marking an especially meaningful event this National Astronomy Week, as a team led by Professor Peter Schloerb recently received a three-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to provide support for the Large Millimeter Telescope in Mexico and to offer – for the first time – access to it for astronomers from any U.S. institution. For more information:


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Thank you Professor Stephen Schneider, Professor Daniela Calzetti, and Beth Berry for recording our virtual Sunrise gathering!


Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Join UMass Amherst Astronomers on Tuesday, September 22nd 6:30am or 6:15pm for a virtual gathering. To join the webinar broadcast, click here. Please give yourself a few minutes to install Zoom ahead of time. The Autumnal Equinox this year is 9:30 a.m, marking the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south as seen from Earth: the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. UMass Amherst astronomer Stephen Schneider will discuss via a web broadcast the astronomical cause of the sun's changing position during the live presentation. He will also explain the design and history of the Sunwheel, and how it marks the changing positions of the sun and moon. More info:


Monday, September 14, 2020
The Astronomy Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is saddened to report the passing of retired Full Professor William A. (Bill) Dent. Professor Dent was a key founder of the observational aspect of the Astronomy Program at UMass Amherst. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan Bill had made the amazing discovery that the brightness of what were called quasi-stellar radio sources (quasars) varied with time. This required that the physical sizes of these objects be vastly smaller than had been postulated; many years later we have learned that quasars contain supermassive black holes, often with masses of billions of times the mass of our Sun.

Bill Dent with students in 1969

Bill Dent with students in 1969

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will not require GRE scores (both general and physics) in the 2021 application cycle to their graduate program.  To apply for our program please visit Priority applications are due December 15th, 2020, with a final deadline of January 15, 2021.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Professor Alexandra Pope is one of the 39 UMass Faculty selected for  an ADVANCE Fellowship for the academic year 2020-2021. The NSF-funded ADVANCE program is working on issues of equity and inclusion at the University of Massachusetts and on the impact of Covid-19 on these problems.
More Info:
Smiling woman with medium length blond hair wearing short sleeve shirt standingi n field
Friday, August 14, 2020

Talks will be held at 4pm on Thursdays through Zoom. Titles,abstracts, and Zoom connection info will be posted closer to the dates.

  • Thursday August 27: Astro Jamboree Week 1
  • Thursday September 3: Astro Jamboree Week 2
  • Thursday September 10: Amanda Kepley (NRAO Charlottesville)
  • Thursday September 17: Brian Svoboda (NRAO)
  • Thursday September 24: Dara Norman (NSF NOIRLab)
  • Thursday October 1: Zhiyuan Ma (UMass Amherst)
  • Thursday October 8: Zheng Zheng (University of Utah)
  • Thursday October 15: Sandro Tacchella (CfA)
  • Thursday October 22: Daniel Anglés-Alcázar (CCA Flatiron/UConn)
  • Thursday October 29: Feng Long (CfA)
  • Thursday November 5: Irene Shivaei (U Arizona)
  • Thursday November 12:  2nd Year Graduate Project Presentation
  • Thursday November 19:  2nd Year Graduate Project Presentation