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Research

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We have international programmes of observational, theoretical, laboratory based and mission based astronomy research, focussing on all four of the key science questions of European astronomy and supported by STFC.

•  Do we understand the extremes of the Universe?
•  How do galaxies form and evolve?
•  What is the origin and evolution of stars and planets?
•  How do we fit in?

The Astronomy Discipline is a member of the UK SALT Consortium, which owns a 5% share in the 10m Southern African Large Telescope. We are also a partner in the SuperWASP consortium which operates two robotic sky-patrol camera systems (one in La Palma, one at Sutherland Observatory). Members of our group are members of the guaranteed time consortia of the Japanese AKARI infrared survey mission and the Herschel SPIRE instrument. We also coordinate an EU Network in Astrobiology. We are also coinvestigators in the future Japan/ESA SPICA mission and the UK LOFAR Consortium.

The activities of the Astronomy Discipline fall into five broad areas, with deliberate and substantial overlap:

•  Astrochemistry
•  Star Formation
•  Cosmology
•  Exoplanets
•  Star Interactions