Astronomy is a fast-moving field and the strategic fund permits us to respond to new opportunities, such as to help prototype a new instrument, modify an existing one, or allow faculty or students to become involved immediately in a new discovery.
Donations allow the Department of Astronomy to invest in opportunities that keep us at the forefront of astronomy research. Currently, we are exploring investments that will allow us access to the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). The European ELT will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world, capable of gathering 13 times more light than today’s largest telescopes. The European ELT will greatly advance our astrophysical knowledge and provide a window through which we can study other planets, examine the first galaxies in the universe, and better understand super-massive black holes and the nature of the Universe’s dark sector.
We need your help to continue our research and maintain our department as a leader in the field of astronomy. Your help can keep us searching for if we’re alone in the universe, allow us to make revolutionary breakthroughs in research, and provide our students with the absolute best resources and opportunities needed to excel in the field. Studying the stars, planets, and galaxies beyond what is observable with the naked eye can be hugely consequential in understanding our place in the Universe.