About Us

The Astronomy Group is a part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. Both theoretical and observational research is carried out at Vanderbilt, with the work carried out at various national, international and space-platform facilities. Vanderbilt helps operate the KELT survey for transiting extrasolar planets, and members of the group are active participants in the KeplerSDSS-III, and SDSS-IV collaborations, as well as preparing for future large-scale projects like TESS and LSST. The on-campus ACCRE cluster, with over 4000 CPUs, provides the resources for computational astrophysics.

The graduate program in Astronomy has launched a new Ph.D. degree in Astrophysics, which provides a solid background in coursework and varied research experience in the fields of observational and theoretical/computational astrophysics.

Vanderbilt also hosts a NSF supported REU program for undergraduates, and Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program.

Vanderbilt also operates Dyer Observatory, a small observatory several miles south of campus whose original construction was overseen by Carl Seyfert in the early 1950s. The observatory is today dedicated to a mission of public outreach and education.

Vanderbilt University’s special collections and archives has brought out a new online exhibit on Edward Emerson Barnard. Barnard was one of the best observational astronomers of his time and discovered Barnard’s star, Jupiter’s fifth moon, nearly a dozen comets, and nebulous emissions in supernovae. Starting his career at Vanderbilt University Observatory in 1883, he moved on to the Lick and Yerkes Observatories as well as serving in the faculty in the University of Chicago.