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Extragalactic astronomy

The field of extragalactic astronomy extends from the Milky Way's nearest neighbors to distant galaxies observed less than a billion years after the big bang. Investigating the shape and growth of galaxies over time provides crucial information about some of the mysteries of modern Astronomy - the nature and shape of dark matter haloes, how super massive black holes feedback on their host galaxies and how these galaxies reionized the surrounding Universe. The distance the light from these galaxies travel is also of immense interest, en-route to the telescope this light can be deflected by clumps of gas and dark matter, when studied carefully these observations provide material information about the Universe itself

The study of extragalactic astronomy is one of the most active areas of study at Steward observatory. The department combines a strong commitment to precision observation, with a commitment to large collaborative enterprises and precision computational simulations. By measuring the bending of the light from distant galaxies we can infer the gravitational mass that light passed through, and by identifying the width of chemical emission features in galaxies we can estimate the size of the central black hole in other galaxies.

Faculty and Research Staff with a research interest in this area include:



A Galaxy discussion groups meets on alternate Mondays at noon in N305 during the term.

(Bottom Right) A comparison of an X-ray map, which traces the hot gas in clusters (contours) and the galaxy distribution in Abell 754 (color map). An offset between the gas and galaxies is visible indicative of recent dynamical acitivity.

For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.