Face recognition for galaxies: Artificial intelligence brings new tools to astronomy

  • April 23, 2018

A machine learning method called "deep learning," which has been widely used in face recognition and other image- and speech-recognition applications, has shown promise in helping astronomers analyze images of galaxies and understand how they form and evolve.


Credit: V. Buso, M. Bersten, et al.

Amateur astronomer captures rare first light from massive exploding star

  • February 21, 2018

Image caption: Sequence of combined images (negatives, so black corresponds to bright) obtained by Víctor Buso as SN 2016gkg appears and brightens in the outskirts of the spiral galaxy NGC 613. Labels indicate the time each image was taken. The object steadily brightens for about 25 minutes, as shown quantitatively in the lower-right panel.


Supermassive black holes control star formation in large galaxies

  • January 1, 2018

Young galaxies blaze with bright new stars forming at a rapid rate, but star formation eventually shuts down as a galaxy evolves. A new study, published January 1, 2018, in Nature, shows that the mass of the black hole in the center of the galaxy determines how soon this "quenching" of star formation occurs.

James Webb telescope

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Early Science Observations Revealed

  • November 13, 2017

Astronomers around the world will have immediate access to early data from specific science observations from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which will be completed within the first five months of Webb’s science operations.

Neutron stars collide

Illustration by Robin Dienel courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science

UC astronomers first to observe merging neutron stars

  • October 16, 2017

A small team of UC Santa Cruz astronomers led by UCSC Asst. Prof. Ryan Foley observed the first visible event ever linked to gravitational waves on August 17th, 2017. Foley's team captured the first images of the event, located in a galaxy 130 million light-years away called NGC 4993, with the 1-meter Swope Telescope at the Carnegie Institution's Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

Photo by Tim Stephens

New mirror-coating technology promises dramatic improvements in telescopes

  • September 18, 2017

At UC Santa Cruz, an electrical engineer has teamed up with astronomers to improve telescope mirrors using thin-film technology from the electronics industry.

TMT Workshop (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

UC Santa Cruz hosts international workshop for Thirty Meter Telescope

  • September 1, 2017

Workshop participants, representing all of the TMT International Observatory's partners (Canada, China, India, Japan, UC, and Caltech), worked on projects in small teams, visited astronomical laboratory facilities, toured Lick Observatory, and met with numerous scientists and engineers involved in TMT.

Jerry Nelson

Tributes to Jerry Nelson (1944 - 2017)

  • June 14, 2017

Jerry Nelson was an American astronomer known for his pioneering work designing segmented mirror telescopes. He was the principal designer and project scientist for the Keck telescopes.

Media Information

Ilse Ungeheuer, Communications Director