Images of the interstellar medium with the Arecibo telescope.

Observational Astronomy

Astronomers and astrophysicists at Columbia University engage in observational studies spanning the electromagnetic spectrum: radio, sub-mm, IR, optical, UV, soft/hard X and gamma, plus observational/experimental studies of gravitational waves, dark matter and neutrinos.

Optical and IR observations are frequently conducted at MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak, Arizona, owned in part by Columbia, as well as several other observational/experimental facilities owned, built and/or operated in part or in whole by Columbia. A partial list includes: the Palomar Transient Factory, Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuStar), advanced LIGO, the Xenon and GAPS dark matter experiments, the QUIET cosmic microwave background polarimeter, Mini-BooNE, VERITAS, LSST and the 6-meter Large Zenith Telescope. Columbia observers study objects running the gamut from the Moon to distant galaxies, the cosmic microwave background and relics from the Big Bang.