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Research Statement

Amongst a wide variety of research interests, the formation and evolution of planets, stars and galaxies is the unifying research theme for the UF Department of Astronomy. We pursue this theme through observational, theoretical and instrumentation research. UF is a partner in the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) which began scientific operations in 2009. The superb image quality allows the GTC to "see" both the faintest and the most distant objects in the universe, from nearby, newborn planets and stars, to the most distant galaxies. As the only US institution with access to the GTC, UF astronomers have unique opportunities to pursue both small, focused studies and major collaborative projects in partnership with Spain and Mexico (e.g., GOYA). UF is a full member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) and is leading MARVELS, one of four key SDSS-III projects. The UF Astronomy department Instrumentation group develops instruments for the GTC, SDSS-III and other major observatories such as the Gemini, Kitt Peak and Keck observatories. UF astronomers also collect data from space-based observatories such as NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra, Spitzer and Kepler missions. The UF theoretical astrophysics group (including several members of the UF Department of Physics with expertise in particle astrophysics, gravitational wave astronomy, and theoretical cosmology) synthesizes observations from these and other observatories to develop and test models that describe the formation and evolution of planets, stars and galaxies. By combining our expertise in astronomical observations, theory and instrumentation, UF award winning faculty, postdocs and students continue to further human-kind's understanding of our universe.


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