Bachelor of Science in Astronomy
Astronomy is the oldest science, seen as far back as ancient China and classical Greece through to the Renaissance, where Copernicus, Kepler and Newton made huge contributions to our knowledge and understanding of the solar system and planetary motion. But the science of Astrophysics, which seeks to explain the structure and evolution of the stars and other celestial objects by applying the principles of physics to interpret our observations, is little more than a century old.
Currently Astronomy is undergoing huge expansion as we can now view the Universe at all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Satellites can get above the atmosphere to detect gamma rays and on the ground huge telescope arrays many kilometres wide make exciting discoveries with radio waves.
Electronic detectors, known as CCDs, have replaced photography for optical observations in Astronomy and this data has led to new advances in our knowledge of the Universe.
A degree in Astronomy provides broad training in many branches of Physics as well as Astronomy, and graduates are highly employable in science, technology and computing industries.
The department manages New Zealand's largest telescopes at Mt John Observatory, near Lake Tekapo. We are also founding members of SALT, the largest single telescope in the world.
For a full overview of research in Astronomy and Astrophysics see our departmental research pages.