A dynamic group of exoplanet scientists includes leading planet hunters, theorists, and instrument developers working to discover, observe, and understand planets beyond our solar system. The Other Worlds Laboratory brings together exoplanet and solar system scientists to make connections between distant planetary systems and our solar system. 

Adaptive Optics

Pioneered the development of adaptive optics technology, which removes the blurring of telescope images caused by turbulence in the atmosphere. Research at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics supports development of adaptive optics systems for major telescope projects such as TMT.


Largest group of computational astrophysics faculty in the world, exploring fundamental questions in astrophysics through the use of supercomputers at the UC Santa Cruz. 

Cosmic contributions

UCSC Astronomy and Astrophysics faculty are heavily involved with scientific planning for NASA’s next generation of space-borne observatories, including the James Webb Space Telescope and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope.

Instrumental facilities

Headquarters of the University of California Observatories (UCO), which operates the Lick ObservatoryW. M. Keck Observatory, and is the center for UC participation in the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project.

Integrally involved in the design, construction, and use of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Lick Observatory near San Jose. Led development of Lick's newest telescope, the Automated Planet Finder.


For more information about what our faculty specializes in, see the Facutly Specialties page.