Welcome to CWRU Astronomy

CWRU Astronomy is a community of active researchers and educators, with research strengths in the fields of galaxy formation and evolution, stellar chemical abundances, and telescope instrumentation and design.

We offer graduate and undergraduate degree programs, and host a series of public talks for the general public. Learn more about our ongoing research, our faculty, staff, and students, and all the new things happening in CWRU Astronomy.

Photo Journal: Views from Our Observatory

Get a glimpse into the life of an astronomer. Professor Chris Mihos recently returned from a trip to Kitt Peak, Arizona, where he captured and analyzed data from CWRU Astronomy’s Burrell Schmidt telescope. On this observing trip, Prof. Mihos studied the nearby spiral galaxy M101 (also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy). He shares an inside look at the observatory, and explains how he uses the data to learn about galaxies and the stars that live inside them.

View the photo journal

CWRU Astronomy Newsletter – 2017 Edition

Learn about student, faculty and alumni news in our annual CWRU Astronomy newsletter. It includes a recap of the international workshop on dwarf galaxies and dark matter hosted this summer by our department, research updates by CWRU astronomers, and photos from our August eclipse party.

Solar Eclipse 2017!

The day of Monday August 21 will feature a real treat -- a solar eclipse visible (weather permitting!) across the United States. While Cleveland won't be in the path of the total eclipse this time, we will see a partial eclipse where the Moon will cover up to 80% of the Sun's face at maximum eclipse, so it should still be a fun sight to see! The timing of the eclipse varies depending on where in the country you are viewing it, but here in Cleveland, the eclipse begins at 1:06pm, when the Moon will start to carve a "notch"...

Distant Red Giants Discovered in the Milky Way’s Outer Halo

Red giant stars are the most luminous ones found in a population of old stars, and so are particularly useful to study the early history of the Milky Way. "We use these stars like fossils, because in many cases their chemistry and motions have been unchanged since they were formed more than 10 Gyr ago", says CWRU astronomer Heather Morrison. She and her collaborators have spent more than a decade identifying these rare red giants as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's SEGUE project, and have found over 5,000 giant stars, some of them as far away as...

CWRU Virgo Cluster Survey now available online

This fall marks the full public release of CWRU Astronomy's Burrell Schmidt Deep Virgo Survey. Over the course of seven observing seasons from 2004 through 2011, CWRU astronomer Chris Mihos and collaborators used the Burrell Schmidt telescope to conduct deep wide-field imaging of the nearby Virgo Cluster of galaxies. The survey covers over 15 square degrees of the cluster in two filters, providing surface photometry and color information for galaxies, tidal streams, and diffuse light in Virgo down to extremely low surface brightnesses (μB ~ 29.5 mag/arcsec2, or about 1/100 of the brightness of the dark night sky). The...

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