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Welcome New Chair Professor Thomas Quinn

Please read his inaugural Chair’s Letter in our Fall 2021 newsletter.

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Professor Thomas Quinn

Remembering Professor Emeritus George Wallerstein

The University of Washington mourns the loss of emeritus professor and founding chair of the Department of Astronomy George Wallerstein. Through a nearly three-quarter century career Wallerstein made …

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George Wallerstein in 2009.

New high-precision measurements of TRAPPIST-1 planets

The TRAPPIST-1 system contains seven planets spanning the range of properties of the terrestrial planets in our Solar System. Astronomers at UW, led by Professor Eric Agol, have now measured the masse…

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Artist's depiction of the seven TRAPPIST-1 planets, with one being weighed against Earth on a scale and one being measured with calipers. Art by Robert Hurt (NASA/JPL)

UW astronomers document a century of changing stellar eclipses

A team led by Dr. James Davenport, research assistant professor of astronomy at the UW and associate director of the UW’s DIRAC Institute, analyzed more than 125 years of observations of the star syst…

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The star HS Hydra (center) imaged by the Digitized Sky Survey.

Bruce Balick Follows the Decline and Fall of the Youngest Planetary Nebula

The Stingray was already a bright, compact planetary nebula when it first appeared in the 1980s around the frequently observed star SAO 244567. Using twenty years of Hubble Space Telescope images, an …

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Photo of Professor Emeritus Bruce Balick

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.


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