University of California, Berkeley


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; star and planet formation; and spectroscopy. A considerable amount of research and teaching related to astronomy is done in other units at UC Berkeley, including the Physics Department, Earth and Planetary Science, Space Science Laboratory, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Various professors in the Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics, and Engineering departments have an active interest in astronomy and are available for consultation.


Many instruments are available to students and staff, including two 10-meter telescopes at the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii; 30-inch, 40-inch and 120-inch telescopes at Lick Observatory; a 16-element millimeter-wave interferometer in Southern California; the PAPER Array in South Africa; and a 30-inch telescope at Leuschner Observatory (near the campus). Laboratories are available for the development of radio, infrared, and optical instruments and for the precise measurement of images and spectra. For further information regarding these resources, see the Facilities page on the department's website.

Physics-Astronomy Library

The Physics-Astronomy Library is located in 351 LeConte Hall. The Physics-Astronomy Library has approximately 95,000 volumes available (on campus and at the NRLF) and 700 journal subscriptions.

Astronomy Reading Room

The Astronomy Reading Room is located in 229 Campbell Hall and contains a selection of useful books and journals. For further information, see the Reading Room Catalog.

Organized Research Units

The Radio Astronomy Lab is involved with many instruments and projects.

The Theoretical Astrophysics Center includes faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and students working on a wide variety of problems in theoretical astrophysics.

The Center for Integrative Planetary Science is involved in many research projects including the ongoing Extrasolar Planet Search, astrobiology, and research into planetary composition and formation.

Other Research Projects and Opportunities

For further information on other research projects and opportunities, including faculty research publications, see the Research page of the department's website.

Undergraduate Program

Astrophysics: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

Astrophysics: PhD

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Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Steven Beckwith, Professor.

Joshua Bloom, Professor. Machine learning, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, time-domain astronomy, data-driven discovery.
Research Profile

+ Eugene Chiang, Professor. Planetary science, theoretical astrophysics, dynamics, planet formation, circumstellar disks.
Research Profile

Imke De Pater, Professor. Radio, planetary science, infrared, observations.
Research Profile

Courtney Dressing, Assistant Professor. Searching for small, potentially habitable exoplanets orbiting nearby stars, characterizing planet host stars to improve stellar and planetary parameters, Investigating the dependence of planet occurrence on stellar and planetary properties.
Research Profile

+ Alexei V. Filippenko, Professor.

James R. Graham, Professor. Adaptive optics, infrared instrumentation, large telescopes.
Research Profile

Raymond Jeanloz, Professor. Planetary geophysics, high-pressure physics, national and international security, science-based policy.
Research Profile

Paul Kalas, Adjunct Professor. Planets, astronomy, Telescopes, Science Ethics.
Research Profile

Daniel Kasen, Associate Professor.

Richard I. Klein, Adjunct Professor. Astronomy, star formation, interstellar medium, coupled radiation-gas dynamical flows, supernova shockwaves, hydrodynamic collisions, high-energy astrophysics, photon bubble oscillations, hydro dynamics.
Research Profile

Mariska Kriek, Associate Professor.

Chung-Pei Ma, Professor. Astrophysics, dark matter, cosmology, formation and evolution of galaxies, cosmic microwave background radiation.
Research Profile

Burkhard Militzer, Associate Professor. Saturn, structure and evolution of Jupiter, and extrasolar giant planets.
Research Profile

Peter Nugent, Adjunct Professor. Supernovae, wide-field optical surveys, time-domain astrophysics, radiation transport, cosmology, computational astrophysics.
Research Profile

Aaron Parsons, Assistant Professor.

Eliot Quataert, Professor. Compact objects, theoretical astrophysics, theoretical physics, black holes, accretion theory, plasma physics, high energy astrophysics, galaxies, stars.
Research Profile

Uros Seljak, Professor.

Daniel R. Weisz, Assistant Professor.

Martin White, Professor. Cosmology, formation of structure in the universe, dark energy, expansion of the universe, cosmic microwave background, quasars, redshift surveys.
Research Profile

Emeritus Faculty

Jonathan Arons, Professor Emeritus. Astrophysics, compact astrophysical objects, Neutron Stars, ionized plasmas, cosmic rays, magnetized accretion disks, black holes pulsars, magnetic fields, planets.
Research Profile

Gibor Basri, Professor Emeritus. Astronomy, low mass stars, brown dwarfs, star formation, T Tauri stars, stellar magnetic activity, starspots.
Research Profile

Leo Blitz, Professor Emeritus. Astronomy, formation of galaxies, evolution of galaxies, conversion of interstellar gases, milky way, dark matter, dwarf galaxies, interstellar medium, high velocity clouds, hydrogen atom.
Research Profile

C. Stuart Bowyer, Professor Emeritus.

Marc Davis, Professor Emeritus. Astronomy, physical cosmology, large scale velocity fields, structure formation in the universe, maps of galactic dust.
Research Profile

Reinhard Genzel, Professor. Physics, existence and formation of black holes in galactic nuclei, the nature of the power source, the evolution of (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies, gas dynamics, the fueling of active galactic nuclei, the properties evolution of starburst galaxies.
Research Profile

Alfred E. Glassgold, Adjunct Professor. Theoretical astrophysics and underlying physical processes, interstellar and circumstellar matter, star and planet fromation, protoplanetary disks.
Research Profile

Carl E. Heiles, Professor Emeritus. Astronomy, interstellar medium, itsmorphology, supernovas, interstellar magnetic fields, Eridanus superbubble, interstellar gases.
Research Profile

Ivan R. King, Professor Emeritus.

Christopher F. Mckee, Professor Emeritus. Astrophysics, interstellar medium, formation of stars, astrophysical fluid dynamics, computational astrophysics, astrophysical blast waves, supernova remnants, interstellar shocks.
Research Profile

William J. (Jack) Welch, Professor Emeritus. Formation of stars, dark dust clouds, Michelson interferometer array, and Allen telescope array.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Astronomy

501 Campbell Hall

Phone: (510) 642-5275

Fax: (510) 642-3411

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Department Chair

Chung-Pei Ma

319 Campbell Hall

Academic Adviser

Amber Banayat

501E Campbell Hall

Phone: 510-642-8520

Department Chair

Cara Lyn Giovanniello

501G Campbell Hall

Phone: 510-643-5040

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