Astronomy Research and Facilities

 Professor Darby Dyer explaining mineral samples to students.

Students in the Astronomy Department have uncommon access to hands-on research projects using state of the art facilities that include the Williston Observatory . There are many opportunities for research in planetary science, astrophysics, and astrobiology: on campus, within the Five College Astronomy Department, and through summer programs at many other institutions such as the Applied Physics Lab and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Independent study projects are common at all levels, and several seniors undertake thesis projects every year. Dyar's research program is funded by more than $1,000,000 per year in awards from NASA and the National Science Foundation. Facilities in the Astronomy Department include an Astrophysics laboratory with Linux computers, Mössbauer Spectrometer, ChemLIBS Spectrometer, SuperLIBS Spectrometer, ASD Mineral Spectroradiometer, Bruker ATR Spectrometer, and BRAVO Raman Spectrometer. These facilities are available to interested students for inquiry-based projects, and are used in classes at the advanced level.

Facilities Fee Schedule