Expanding universe. Expanding mind.

Think outside the world

If you are interested in solving large problems with big ideas, Astronomy has a degree program for you.
In our programs, you will expand your mind using tools that can be applied to multiple problems.
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Astronomy News

Read article: Crowds Throng the Quad for the April 8th Eclipse
Crowds Throng the Quad for the April 8th Eclipse
It was a day to remember, as nearly 98% of the Sun was blocked by the Moon in a partial solar eclipse visible from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.  The Department of Astronomy quickly distributed its remaining supply of about 800 eclipse glasses and a long queue of eclipse-...
Read article: Ikenberry Chair Sets Sights on New Horizons in Black Hole Research
Ikenberry Chair Sets Sights on New Horizons in Black Hole Research
Professor Charles Gammie was named the Ikenberry Endowed Chair in January 2024.  He was recently honored by the University.  The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences asked him and other honorees how their award affects them and their work and published an article with their responses.
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Read article: Graduate Student awarded the NSF GRFP
Graduate Student awarded the NSF GRFP
We celebrate the accomplishment of second-year graduate student, Liam Nolan.  He has been awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Resarch Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). The...
Read article: Successful Thesis Defense from Dr. Kwok Sun Tang
Successful Thesis Defense from Dr. Kwok Sun Tang
We want to congratulate the successful thesis defense of the newly minted Dr. Kwok Sun Tang. He has successfully defended his thesis. He is pictured with Professor Paul Ricker, Professor Gautham Narayan, and his advisor Professor Matthew Turk.
Read article: Viewing the April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse from Campus
Viewing the April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse from Campus
  The University of Illinois Astronomy Department will set up a solar eclipse observing station behind Foellinger Auditorium (see map) from around 1-3pm on April 8, weather permitting.  At the maximum eclipse around 2:05pm, the Sun will be almost 98% blocked by the Moon!  Check out...

Astronomy Events

Real data, real experiences


The universe provides plenty of room for exploration. Astronomy classes make use of vast, modern datasets to give you hands-on experience with real data. 

Help celebrate our centennial by reaching for the stars.

100 gifts for 100 years


In celebration of the department’s centennial, we’re asking for your help to replenish the department’s annual fund. Our goal is 100 gifts for 100 years.

Illustration of observable universe

Introduction to Astronomy

Learn the basic concepts of modern astronomy, from the Solar System to the Big Bang.

ASTR 100

heat map of universe

Introduction to Astrophysics

Survey of modern astronomy for students with background in physics.

ASTR 210

Hubble image of universe

The Big Bang, Black Holes, and the End of the Universe

Studies the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe, and the scientific tools used to study these issues.

ASTR 350

Stephens quartet galaxy

Galaxies and the Universe

Explore elementary aspects of physical cosmology, including galaxies in our Local Group, starburst galaxies, and quasars.

ASTR 406

Computer generated model

Computing in Astronomy

An introduction to the use of computers in astrophysics research.

ASTR 310

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Astronomy picture of the day

Discover the cosmos with NASA.gov. Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.