About Caltech Astronomy

As part of Caltech's Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, the astronomy department's primary mission is to perform cutting-edge research in astronomy and astrophysics while educating undergraduate and graduate students to become the scientific leaders of tomorrow.

Caltech Researchers Interpret Asymmetry in Early Universe

The Big Bang is widely considered to have obliterated any trace of what came before. Now, astrophysicists at the California Institute of Technology think that their new theoretical interpretation of an imprint from the earliest stages of the universe may also shed light on what came before.

Caltech's David Baltimore and Fiona Harrison Named among America's Best Leaders for 2008

Two prominent researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have been named among the country's 24 top leaders by U.S. News Media Group in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School.

W.M. Keck Foundation Gift to Enable Caltech and JPL Scientists to Research the Universe's Violent Origin

The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded $2.3 million to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to fund the Keck Array--a suite of three microwave polarimeters at the South Pole--and the corresponding research initiative, "Imaging the Beginning of Time: A Search for the Signature of Inflation in the Cosmic Microwave Background."

"Einstein's Cosmic Messengers" Multimedia Concert Inspired by Quest for Gravitational Waves

Join two world-renowned California Institute of Technology (Caltech) physicists and an award-winning composer for the world premiere of "Einstein's Cosmic Messengers," an inventive multimedia concert. Inspired by Caltech's involvement with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), the presentation takes an innovative approach to communicating scientific exploration and discovery to the general public. The event takes place Thursday, October 30, at 8 p.m., in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus.

Keck Telescope and "Cosmic Lens" Resolve Nature and Fate of Early Star-Forming Galaxy

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and their colleagues have provided unique insight into the nature of a young star-forming galaxy as it appeared only two billion years after the Big Bang and determined how the galaxy may eventually evolve to become a system like our own Milky Way.

Caltech Scientist Proposes Explanation for Puzzling Property of Night-Shining Clouds at the Edge of Space

An explanation for a strange property of noctilucent clouds--thin, wispy clouds hovering at the edge of space at 85 km altitude--has been proposed by an experimental plasma physicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), possibly laying to rest a decades-long mystery.

MacArthur Foundation Names Alexei Kitaev Latest Caltech "Genius"

Alexei Kitaev, a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) faculty member, has been named a MacArthur Fellow, winning one of the five-year, $500,000 grants that are awarded annually to creative, original individuals and that are often referred to as the "genius" awards.

Caltech Astronomers Describe the Bar Scene at the Beginning of the Universe

Bars abound in spiral galaxies today, but this was not always the case. A group of 16 astronomers, led by Kartik Sheth of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, has found that bars tripled in number over the past seven billion years, indicating that spiral galaxies evolve in shape.

Rare 'Star-making Machine' Found in Distant Universe

Astronomers have uncovered an extreme stellar machine -- a galaxy in the very remote universe pumping out stars at a surprising rate of up to 4,000 per year. In comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy turns out an average of just 10 stars per year.

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