Astronomy and Astrophysics

Research in astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Minnesota extends from efforts to understand the births, lives, and deaths of individual stars to the study of massive clusters of galaxies. Computational efforts focus on how stars evolve as well as the astrophysics of galaxy clusters. Optical and infrared observers use the 11.8-meter Large Binocular Telescope, the 6.5-meter MMT telescope, and space-based facilities to address questions about galaxy evolution from nearby dwarf galaxies to high redshift galaxy populations, the nature of comets, massive stellar evolution, nova and supernova explosions, and even individual stars at high redshift. Radio and X-ray observational work includes an effort to understand supernova remnants and galaxy clusters, while gamma-ray telescopes are used to probe active galactic nuclei.  Gravitational lensing by galaxies and galaxy clusters is also a significant focus.