Skip to content

Department of Physical Sciences > Astronomy

Astronomy

star factory mess17

Image: ESO

Welcome to the Astronomy Discipline

Welcome to the Astronomy Discipline web page at The Open University. Our research covers the environment in the Galaxy and star forming regions, and the subsequent populations of stars; exoplanetary astrophysics; observational cosmology; laboratory studies in astrochemistry.  We have leading roles in many major international projects and facilities, including SuperWASP, JCMT Legacy Surveys, LOFAR, and Herschel.  We use many international facilities, from ground-based observatories (e.g. ALMA, South African Large Telescope, ESO) to space telescopes (e.g. AKARI, Herschel, HST, Spitzer, STEREO), and are involved in the planning and preparation for future international missions (e.g. SPICA, FIRI, PLATO, EChO, Athena, Euclid). 

We also teach more astronomy undergraduates than the rest of the UK higher education sector put together, with over 40 years' experience specialising in distance education, taking students from no previous knowledge to undergraduate degrees and beyond. 

The Astronomy Discipline is one of seven groups forming the Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research. This is one of five Centres for Strategic Research Investment set up by The Open University.

To find out more about our research or about us, follow the menu items to the right. Campus maps and directions can be found on the Department of Physical Sciences contact page.

Dr Stephen Serjeant
Head of Astronomy