University of Virginia Department of Astronomy
Who has not felt a sense of awe while looking deep into the sky, lit with countless stars on a clear night? Who has not asked themselves if ours is the only planet that supports life? Who has not pondered the nature of the planets, stars, galaxies, and the Universe itself? Astronomy is a science that seeks to explain everything that we observe in the Universe, from the comets and planets in our own solar system to distant galaxies to the echoes of the Big Bang. By studying the cosmos beyond our own planet, we can understand where we came from, where we are going, and how physics works under conditions which are impossible to recreate on Earth. In astronomy, the Universe is our laboratory!