Infrastructure

 

The main instrumental resources available to the Astronomy Graduate Program are located at the National Astrophysics Laboratory (LNA – Laboratório Cacional de Astrofísica) in Brazópolis, Minas Gerais – where a 24-inch telescope operates; and at Observatory Abrahão de Morais in Valinhos, São Paulo – where astrometric instruments are installed.

At LNA, researchers also have access to a 1.6m telescope, open to the national research community, in equal conditions upon presentation of a scientific project. In Itapetininga, São Paulo, radio astronomers have access to a 13.7 m antenna that operates at the millimeter band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Besides these resources, astronomers concur with European and American astronomers in the use of international telescopes ESO and CTIO in Chile, and other sites. Recently, the national community has partnered with the GEMINI projects, a consortium managing two 8 m telescopes, which offers 2.5% of the time to Brazilian astronomers, and also with SOAR consortium, which offers 30% of the available time. Other projects may be implemented to expand the options available for our researchers even further.


Within the academic environment offered by the university, the Astronomy Program is strongly related to the Physics and Mathematics Institutes, exchanging educational and research experiences, and from where graduate students are often received.


A substantial amount of students from the program are graduates from the Astronomy Specialization course, provided by the Physics Institute of the university. These students are offered undergraduate lectures by professors from the program, thus being introduced to astronomy and astrophysics.


The program also keeps active international collaborations, constantly perceiving new perspectives. Professors and students seek to actively participate in international events where they are able to present and discuss their most recent work.


The course frequently receives visiting researchers who offer lectures on subjects of great interest within their research fields. Furthermore, discussion groups organize sessions to debate recent articles with the aim of keeping students and instructors up to date and interested in new works of each field.