Top News

Professor Emeritus George Wallerstein celebrates 60 years since first observing run

Professor Emeritus George Wallerstein is celebrating the 60th anniversary of his first telescope observing run with an Echelle spectrograph observing session on the Apache Point Observatory (APO) …

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Black Holes in Vanishing Quasars have Eaten their Fill

UW astronomy graduate student John Ruan and professor Scott Anderson have discovered distant quasars which have apparently disappeared. This new phenomenon is caused by a shortage in the supply of…

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Earth observations show how nitrogen may be detected on exoplanets, aiding search for life

VPL graduate student Edward Schwieterman, professor Victoria Meadows, and researchers Tyler Robinson, Amit Misra, and Shawn Domagal-Goldman have demonstrated that the collisional absorption signat…

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UW astronomer, students report irregularities in ‘rare, exotic’ binary system

UW astronomers Breanna Binder and Ben Williams, along with the help of undergraduates Jacob Gross and Daniel Simons, were recently reminded that the diplomatic axiom to “trust, but verify” also ap…

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"Upside-down planet" reveals new method for studying binary star systems

Working with UW astronomer Eric Agol, doctoral student Ethan Kruse has confirmed the first “self-lensing” binary star system — one in which the mass of the closer star can be measured by how power…

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Astronomy is the quest to make the Universe comprehensible, an adventure into the beginning of time and through the infinite recesses of space.


The Astronomy Department at the University of Washington (UW) began in 1965 and has grown to 15 full and part-time faculty, approximately 20 postdocs, and 30 graduate students. Like every department at the UW, our goals and responsibilities can be summarized as excellence in education, research, and public service. The Astronomy Department provides the most engaging and challenging of research opportunities covering the spectrum of modern astrophysics. Courses provide the background; the close, diverse community of learning provides the excitement; and the array of observational and computational tools provides the opportunities for everyone to participate and learn together.