Astronomy and Astrophysics at CUNY

The Astronomy and Astrophysics programs at CUNY are involved in a wide array of research topics, integrating many devoted faculty members with undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers. Research in all areas is carried out both at each member's home institution as well as in conjunction with a research facility program at the American Museum of Natural History's Astrophysics Department.

Research Areas: Galaxy Formation and Evolution, Active Galactic Nuclei, Black Holes, Star Formation, Low Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs, Interstellar Medium, Giant Planets

Astrophysics at CUNY Colleges: City Tech (Brooklyn), Hunter (Manhattan), York (Queens), Staten Island, Lehman (Bronx), BMCC (Manhattan), and Medgar Evers (Brooklyn).

Affiliated Institutions: American Museum of Natural History, New York University, Columbia University, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS)


CUNY Physics PhD Program - Graduate program in Physics and Astronomy. Includes 12 month stipend and benefits for 5 years. Application Deadline: January.

AMNH/CUNY NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) - Summer research opportunity open to all undergraduates. Includes summer stipend. Application Deadline: Jan/February.

AstroCom NYC - Multi-year research fellowships and intensive mentoring for CUNY undergraduates interested in pursing graduate work in Astronomy. Includes 12 month stipend for up to 2 years. Application Deadline: Fall.


April 2014

CUNY AstroCom featured in NPR's Morning Edition

The CUNY AstroCom program is an NSF-funded project to support CUNY undergraduates interested in pursing a career in Astronomy. AstroCom Scholars Ariel Diaz (BMCC), Betsy Hernandez (Hunter) were featured along with Prof. Tim Paglione (York College) and Prof. Saavik Ford (BMCC). The full audio of the story is available on the NPR website.

December 2013

CUNY Astronomers Awarded Time on the Keck Telescope

Adric Riedel led a successful proposal for one night of time on one of the world's largest telescopes in a highly competitive selection process. The research team includes Emily Rice (College of Staten Island), Kelle Cruz (Hunter College), and Jackie Faherty (Carnegie-DTM & AMNH) of the BDNYC collaboration. Riedel, a postdoctoral researcher at Hunter College and AMNH, will lead the effort to use the Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and its building-sized 10 meter (33 foot) wide mirror to obtain spectroscopy of brown dwarfs, objects less massive than stars but more massive than planets. "Spectroscopy is like a fingerprint," Riedel notes, "and with it, among other things, we can learn how fast the brown dwarfs are moving." Knowing these motions will help determine if the brown dwarfs are part of any known nearby "moving groups" of stars, which will help them determine their physical properties. Observing time on the gigantic Keck telescopes is notoriously difficult to get, but, as Riedel explains, "measuring the motions of stars is hard enough, and the brown dwarfs we're trying to measure are much, much dimmer. So we needed Keck, and I'm incredibly excited we're going to get to do this." The observations are scheduled for May 2014.

September 2013

NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Award to CUNY Collaboration

Kelle Cruz (Hunter College), Emily Rice (College of Staten Island), and Jackie Faherty (Carngeie-DTM & AMNH) of the BDNYC collaboration have been awarded $350,000 from the Astronomy and Astrophysics program of the National Science Foundation to study brown dwarfs — objects in between stars and planets in mass. The project will exploit the properties of well-characterized benchmarks to test, interpret, and refine atmosphere and evolutionary models. Brown dwarfs are promising analogs for young, massive exoplanets and this project will creatively advance our understanding of the key physical parameters that sculpt the observed spectral data of exoplanet atmospheres.

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