News and Events

Friday, March 26, 2021
Physics and Astronomy majors Meredith Stone (UMass) and Lena Treiber (Amherst College) have been awarded the 2021 Goldwater Scholarship!
"The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, 
and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors 
who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields."
More information at:
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Kate Mallory

Kate is a Physics major with a concentration in Astronomy, who is working on a project to understand star formation in nearby galaxies.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Polarised view of the black hole in M87. The lines mark the orientation of polarisation, which is related to the magnetic field around the shadow of the black hole. Credit: © EHT Collaboration
Profs. Gopal Narayanan and Pete Schloerb are among the authors of a new publication by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration on the supermassive black hole in the center
of the galaxy M87. This new paper shows, for the first time, the signatures of the magnetic field surrounding the black hole. These observations help illuminate how black holes launch powerful, galactic-scale jets.


Saturday, March 20, 2021

A photo of the sunwheel at Sunset. The sun is setting behind a row of trees in winter, shining through clouds. The snow around the stones is reflecting the sunsetView the press release and Zoom link here!

Join UMass Astronomers for a live broadcast from the Sunwheel on Saturday, March 20, the first day of Spring! The webinar-format broadcasts will begin at 7 a.m. for sunrise and 6:30 p.m. for sunset, and will be streamed live from the center of the Sunwheel.

The UMass Sunwheel is a solar calendar made up of a stone circle, like England’s famous Stonehenge. Also like Stonehenge, the Sunwheel’s standing stones mark the location of the rising and setting sun during equinoxes and solstices. This unique calendar circle was designed by the late UMass professor of astronomy Judith Young, and has hosted public events celebrating the change of seasons since 1997

During the presentations Stephen Schneider will explain the changing positions of the sun, moon and Earth, and how the standing stones of the Sunwheel act as a calendar to mark the start of each season. He and other UMass astronomers at the webinar will be available to answer questions about the Sunwheel as well as questions about astronomy.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Two FCAD students, Meredith Stone (UMass) and William Balmer (Amherst College), were awarded the Chambliss Honorable Mention at the January 2021 AAS meeting. These awards “.. recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students who present at one of the poster sessions at the meetings of the AAS."
More information is available at:
Thursday, February 11, 2021

This 3-week summer program is taught by Astronomy Graduate Student Sarah Betti, assisted by other graduate students.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Prof. Schloerb has been honored by the ARCS Foundation  ( with an induction to their Alumni Hall of Fame for 2021, for `leadership and vision in the development of the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso  Serrano, which  played a significant role in capturing the first image of a black hole, confirming Einstein's theory of general relativity.

More information can be found at:

Congratulations to Porf. Schloerb!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Watch the sunrise webinar recording here and sunset one here


Monday, December 21, 2020
To mark the sun reaching its southerly extreme and the start of astronomical winter, astronomers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will give live presentations via webinar from the campus’s unique Sunwheel at 7:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21. The online sessions are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Special thanks to Grad Student Alyssa Sokol for putting together our department newsletter!

[PDF] /sites/default/files/Newsletter_Astronomy_update.pdf