Astronomical Research

Hubble Space Telescope image of the giant cannibal galaxy NGC 1132. Dr. Michael West, MMA Director of Astronomy, leads a team using Hubble to study this and other similar galaxies. Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration.

Hubble Space Telescope image of the giant cannibal galaxy NGC 1132. Dr. Michael West, MMA Director of Astronomy, leads a team using Hubble to study this and other similar galaxies. Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration.

The Maria Mitchell Association’s Astronomy Department has been engaged in cutting-edge research for over a century, contributing in important ways to our knowledge and understanding of the universe.

Astronomers at the Maria Mitchell Observatory study a broad range of astronomical objects and phenomena including planets, stars and star clusters, interstellar clouds of gas and dust, astrophysical masers, galaxies and the expanding universe.

Research at the MMO uses observational data obtained with our telescopes on Nantucket and other leading ground-based telescopes around the world, as well as space-based observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope. The results of these investigations are published in leading scientific journals and have received financial support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, NASA and other scientific funding agencies.

In addition to the research done by MMO astronomers, important discoveries have also been made by students and teachers who participate in the Maria Mitchell Association’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs and by visiting astronomers who come to use our 17-inch and 24-inch research telescopes on Nantucket.

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