Areas of research span a wide range of astronomy and astrophysics. They vary from "close to home" subjects, such as the structure of the Sun and the discovery of exoplanets, to objects at the distant reaches of the Universe, such as quasars and gravitational lenses. Much of the research is directed toward understanding the structure, formation, and evolution of both galaxies and stars, and thereby revealing the evolution of the Universe.
The Department is home to both high energy astrophysicists, who work on objects that emit high energy photons, such as Gamma-ray bursts and X-ray sources in binary systems; and radio astronomers who probe the interstellar gas in galaxies at low energy, radio wavelengths. These observations are frequently complemented by observations at optical wavelengths, primarily made with the telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela that are available to the members of the department. Members of the department also use these instruments to research topics in astrometry, stellar populations, the evolution of galaxies, and cosmology. Approximately 50% of the faculty is engaged in theoretical studies that also span a wide range of topics - from star formation and the structure and evolution of the Sun and stars to active galactic nuclei, the dark matter in clusters of galaxies, and cosmology. While each researcher is an expert in his or her field, these fields overlap, promoting frequent collaboration between the faculty, research staff, and students and between observers and theorists.
In association with the Department of Physics, the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the U. de Chile, members of the department community have special access to many wonderful research facilities. These include the 10m Keck telescopes, the 3.5m WIYN telescope, the QUEST survey telescope, SMARTS, SDSS-III, and a variety of observational sites in Chile.
Recognizing that education is a life-long pursuit that is not limited to the classroom, Yale astronomers are engaged in a variety of public outreach projects, including public lectures and public nights at our nearby observatories.
Image Credits: (header) ESA, NASA and P. Anders (Goettingen University Galaxy Evolution Group, Germany); (left) Kim Herrmann; (background) NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
"...Education is a life-long pursuit that is not limited to the classroom, Yale astronomers are engaged in a variety of outreach projects..."