Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

Institute Of Astronomy, Cambridge

Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

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The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) is the largest of the three astronomy departments in the University of Cambridge, and one of the largest astronomy sites in the UK. Around 170 academics, postdocs, visitors and assistant staff work at the department.

Research at the department is made in a number of scientific areas, including stars, star clusters, cosmology, the high-redshift universe, AGN, galaxies and galaxy clusters. This is a mixture of observational astronomy, over the entire electromagnetic spectrum, computational theoretical astronomy, and analytic theoretical research.

The Kavli Institute for Cosmology is also located on the department site. This Institute has an emphasis on The Universe at High Redshifts. The current plans are to also bring the Cavendish Astrophysics Group onto the site eventually.


The Institute was formed in 1972 from the amalgamation of earlier institutions:
  • The University Observatory, founded in 1823. Its Cambridge Observatory building now houses offices and the department library.
  • The Solar Physics Observatory, which started in Cambridge in 1912. The building was partly demolished in 2008 to make way for the Kavli Institute for Cosmology.
  • The Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, which was created by Fred Hoyle in 1967. Its building is the main departmental site (the Hoyle Building), with a lecture theatre added in 1999, and a second two-storey wing built in 2002.


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