The Department of Astronomy offers undergraduate and graduate instruction in a wide variety of fields, including theoretical and observational astrophysics; infrared, optical, and radio astronomy; galactic structure and dynamics of stellar systems; high-energy astrophysics and cosmology; and spectroscopy. A considerable amount of research and teaching related to astronomy is done in other units at Berkeley, including the Space Science Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the Physics Department. Various professors in the Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Engineering departments have an active interest in astronomy and are available for consultation.
News from the Nebula
Astronomers may finally have tracked down the type of star that explodes with a distinctive but unusual signature: They show no evidence of hydrogen and helium, by far the most abundant elements in the universe. Such explosions have been labeled Type Ic supernovae, and make up some 20 percent of all stars that explode when their cores collapse. Most, however, have been observed at such large distances that astronomers could not pinpoint what was there before the explosion blew it to smithereens. But a team that included UC Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko got lucky. More