Astronomy and Cosmology

Telescope image of the astronomical object Eta CarinaeThe study of astronomy has captured the human imagination for nearly as long as we have been able to look out at stars in the night. And yet, the field of study today continues to hold some physics' most tantalizing unanswered questions. Why, for example, do distant galaxies rotate faster than they should be rotating based on the observations we can make of the matter we can see. Why, if the pull of gravity is always attractive, is the universe expanding at an accelerated rate? Why is the cosmic microwave background so unnaturally uniform in temperature? Does intelligent life exist beyond the confines of Earth? Faculty here at SJSU are investigating the answers to all of these questions and more, with topics of current research including galaxy dynamics, searches for dark matter, solar system evolution, celestial mechanics, stellar wind and radiation-hydrodynamics, computational astrophysics, high performance computing, observational data analysis, 3D printing, and astronomy education for the blind and visually impaired. For information and to learn about research opportunities, contact Thomas Madura or Aaron Romanowsky.