Flagstaff is the world's first International Dark Sky City, and has a long history of pioneering astronomy research and education. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at NAU has a dynamic group of faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students studying bodies in our Solar System, nearby stars, and the evolution of galaxies. These researchers use telescopes in Arizona (through our partnership in the University of Arizona Observatories), Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, and South Africa, as well as premier space-based facilities like the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope. Our faculty and students also use our on-campus telescope for research, outreach to the community, and pedagogy and student training. NAU recently became a partner in the nearby state-of-the-art Discovery Channel Telescope.
NAU graduates more students with bachelor's degrees in astronomy than almost any university in the country, and is home to one of the oldest summer astronomy research programs for undergraduates run by the National Science Foundation. NAU researchers frequently collaborate with colleagues from the Flagstaff-based Lowell Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Naval Observatory. In 2013, NAU and the Department of Physics and Astronomy hosted the international Planetary Defense Conference.
Astronomy at NAU
Collaboration with Discovery Channel
Physics & Astronomy