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Stellar Dynamics & Stellar Populations

Globular Clusters, Galactic Nuclei, Stellar Collisions & Mergers, Interacting Binaries

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Stars are among the most numerous objects in the Cosmos, and are the primary objects that make the bulk of larger structures we observe. They are born together, and consequently evolve together, often interacting with a close companion over the course of their lives, or interacting dynamically with many other stars in the dense stellar environments in which they are found. These interactions have profound influence on the long term evolution of stars. In CIERA, we consider numerical and theoretical models of stellar interactions and use them to understand and explain observations of stars across the Milky Way, and in dense stellar systems.

Research at CIERA

The centers of galaxies are complex environments whose properties are a result of the interactions between the massive black holes that reside there, vast clouds of gas, and dense populations of stars and stellar remnants.

Professor Rasio’s group studies numerical models of dense stellar environments such as nuclear star clusters.

Professor Larson’s group studies the interactions of single stars with massive black holes, a prospective LISA gravitational wave source class known as an EMRI (“extreme mass ratio inspiral”).

Professor Zadeh is an observer who studies stellar populations and physical processes in the Milky Way nucleus using observations across the electromagnetic spectrum.


Faculty Position in Astronomy & Astrophysics – Northwestern

Deadline: 11:59pm, February 15, 2021

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN ASTRONOMY/ ASTROPHYSICS The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University invites applications for a new full time faculty position in astronomy and astrophysics, as part of a major expansion in this area over the coming years.  We seek outstanding individuals in observation/instrumentation or computation/theory who will complement and expand the current

Computational Specialist

Deadline: 11:59pm, February 17, 2021

The Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA, at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois is looking for a motivated Computational Specialist who will actively engage in and support the computational research activities carried out in the center. The position will be at the level of a junior staff scientist; the appointment will initially be for 2

2021 Research Experiences in Astronomy at CIERA for High School Students

Deadline: 11:59pm, March 15, 2021

REACH (Research Experiences in Astronomy at CIERA for High School Students) is a highly interactive, 3-week program (with an optional 3-week extension) that provides high school students experience with astronomy research in an atmosphere of team-style learning, hands-on training, and mentorship from professional scientists. Students enrolled in the program engage in astronomy research projects with CIERA astronomers.



Core Astronomy Faculty



Graduate Students