The Center for Astrophysics and
Space Astronomy (CASA), an astronomy and astrophysics Center founded
in 1985, is an affiliated unit within the structure of the Astrophysical
and Planetary Sciences (APS) Department at the University
of Colorado, Boulder.
Other affiliated units at the University of Colorado are the Joint
Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) and the Laboratory
for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). The APS department offers
an academic program leading to the PhD degree in a variety of areas of
astrophysics and planetary sciences. Students obtain basic theoretical
knowledge common to these related fields, before specializing. The department
has recently developed a new undergraduate Astronomy degree, with two
tracks (General Astronomy and Astrophysics/Physics). We now have 64 declared
undergraduate majors. CASA personnel have active research programs funded
by NASA and NSF.
In Astrophysics, the major topics include: Stars (proto-, hot, cool, and
the Sun), Solar Physics, Interstellar and Intergalactic Matter, Extragalactic
Astronomy, High-Energy Astrophysics, Origins, and X-ray/UV/IR/sub-mm Instrumentation.
The Far-Ultraviolet Spectrographic Explorer
(FUSE) mission was launched in late June 1999. The FUSE spectrograph was designed
and built at CASA over a five-year effort. CASA's hardware team developed
the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph which was
installed in NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009. The powerful ultraviolet
instrument was jointly built with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation
in Boulder. In addition, the CASA Astrophysics
Research Laboratory (ARL), developed in 1995, supports a variety of suborbital sounding rocket
instrument programs, airborne far-IR heterodyne spectrometer development, and
sub-mm instrumentation for the South Pole.
The APS department, including CASA, has become a partner in the 3.5-meter Astrophysical
Research Consortium (ARC) telescope at Apache
Point Observatory in southern New Mexico. CASA recently built a Near Infrared Camera and Fabry-Perot Spectrometer (NIC-FPS) and installed on the telescope in November 2004.
CASA is housed in three different locations. The main location is in the Duane Physics Building on the CU campus with additional offices in the Stadium Building. The Astrophysics Research Lab is located in the CU-Boulder Research Park.
CASA currently has 11 faculty (roster in APS), 4 Research Professors, 24 Research
Associates, 20 graduate students, 22 undergraduates, and 13 support staff. CASA is administered by an Executive
Committee (EC), chaired by the Director,
and assisted by the Associate Director.
The EC reports to the Fellows
of CASA (senior members of the organization with voting rights on membership
and other substantive issues) and to the Members