Click to view digital images of celestial objects taken by WestConn students and faculty at the WCSU Westside observatory and at our affiliated site: the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO).
Astronomy is a dynamic field that incorporates elements of physics, chemistry, and other physical sciences as well as mathematics and computer science. Astronomy students form a select group of capable, patient, motivated people who study the origin, structure, and evolution of planets, stars, and galaxies as well as the processes that formed and modified them. These studies are done with telescopes and instrumentation (data gathering) and with computers (data analysis, including mathematical models).
The Astronomy Program at Western offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses, serving general education requirements as well as leading to a Minor in Astronomy and to Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
What does WestConn offer students?
We provide experience-driven learning! Students learn their science firsthand, from the very first course.
Opportunities for students:
- Observatory internships
- Planetarium show development and production
- Science exhibit development
- Independent research projects at the WCSU Observatory & Planetarium facility
- Research at the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) in Flagstaff, Arizona
- Presentation and publication of research
- Interaction with other science students at conferences
- Center for Galactic Astronomy
- Astronomy Club
We have modern equipment, including 14- and 20-inch Ritchey-Chrétien computer-controlled telescopes, digital CCD cameras and CCD spectrometers, solar telescopes, numerical modeling and image processing software, and a Spitz A3p star projector with ancillary computer-controlled projectors.
We apply the personal touch! Students work closely with faculty to develop their scientific skills and research projects. We want our graduates to succeed!
We have a record of accomplishment. Graduates have gone on to productive careers in research and education.
Among the facilities available for use are two observatories, a planetarium, and an astronomical computer center (the Center for Galactic Astronomy). Western is also a charter member of a consortium of colleges and universities that uses the National Undergraduate Research Observatory near Flagstaff, Arizona.
Degrees and Options
Master of Arts in Earth and Planetary Sciences: Astronomy Option
Bachelor of Arts in Earth and Planetary Sciences; Astronomy Option
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Earth Science: Astronomy Option
Minor in Astronomy
Bachelor of Science in Astronomy (pending)
- Research excursions to the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) in Flagstaff, Arizona
- Public Nights at the WCSU Observatory and Planetarium, Westside Campus (please call (203) 837 - 8672)
- Special viewings and planetarium shows for school, scout and other groups (call (203) 837 - 8671)
- Invited speakers, sun viewing and other activities in the Science Building (WCSU Midtown Campus)