The Department of Astronomy was born in 1760 with the foundation of the Regius Chair of Astronomy. The history of the University’s Observatories is available here and the University Library holds a special collection of works on the history of astronomy and the professors of astronomy at Glasgow.
With the development of astrophysics and convergence of overlapping interests between the Departments of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, the new Chair of Astrophysics was created in 1984 and the joint Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1986. The Astronomy and Astrophysics group was formed in 1991 by the amalgamation of the Theoretical Astronomy and Plasma Physics groups, the research efforts of which had developed a substantial collaborative element in recent years in the area of Solar and Laboratory Plasma theory and diagnostics. Work in these areas now therefore constitutes the largest single group activity. However, the group has wide-ranging interests in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Plasma Physics, Cosmology and Dynamics, exploiting areas of common expertise (such as mathematical and numerical technique) and collaborating with the Institute of Gravitational Research, Materials and Condensed Matter Physics and with other University departments, such as Statistics and Aerospace Engineering.
The Astronomy and Astrophysics group is part of the Scotish Universities Physics Alliance and the new Space Glasgow Research Cluster, facilitating collaborations over a range of space-related themes. Extensive national and international collaborations are also involved, particularly in the area of modelling data from space missions.
We are also the PI group for the EU FP7 funded F-CHROMA project.