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Astronomy and Physics Department

Eastern’s Astronomy program brings science and faith together through rigorous study and hands-on research with state-of-the-art facilities in our Observatory and digital fulldome Planetarium. Students aspiring to a career in Astronomy will discover a challenging array of courses taught in physics, math, computer science and astronomy designed to encourage growth in not only knowledge but faith as well.  Outside of taking courses related to Astronomy and the Physical Sciences, students can also minor in Astronomy.

The Astronomy faculty strives to challenge students to achieve excellence in all they do. From research grants to publishing papers, presenting papers and innovative classroom lectures, the faculty lead by example. While your focus will be in astronomy and astrophysics, we hope that the education you leave with will enable you to succeed in fulfilling God’s purposes for your life.

Current students can find answers to FAQ’s here.

What the Astronomy and Physics Department Offers

Why Minor in Astronomy at Eastern?

  • Integration of faith and academics
  • The Bradstreet Observatory consists of two computerized, 16-inch telescopes.
  • The Julia Fowler Planetarium features a new, automated Spitz SciDome digital projector, one of only 101 of its kind in the world.
  • Dr. David Bradstreet, a global expert in eclipsing binary star research and leader in the field of digital planetarium curriculum development at universities nationwide
  • Unique opportunities for non-science majors or astronomy minors to use state of the art facilities

Eastern continues to reap an improved pedagogy and notoriety sowed by Dr. David H. Bradstreet ’76

Planetarium ArticleThe Julia Fowler planetarium is the most sophisticated and highest resolution planetarium in a 20-foot dome in the world. New software (The Layered Earth) and hardware (SciTouch) will enable a new age of astronomy education at Eastern University, allowing for a more integrated audience experience. The dome will essentially be turned into a smart screen with direct interaction via the patented SciTouch laser controller.  Read the Full Article.

Research Opportunities

Students work closely with professional astronomers and participate in publishable research, and present papers at professional meetings. Competitive summer research opportunities are available.

Astronomy ConferencePictured: Jensen Okimoto, left, and Dr. David Bradstreet, right, stand in front of their poster at the Undergraduate Research at the Capital - Pennsylvania 2016 poster conference.
Jensen Okimoto, graduating THC senior, along with William Schwartz ('14 THC graduate), Steven Sanders (Observatory Administrator), and David Bradstreet (professor of astronomy) were all co-authors on this work, which highlighted two overcontact binary star systems observed and analyzed for the first time using Eastern's observatory. The two stars of one of the binary systems appear to have only recently come into contact with each other, a rare event to capture, and will be studied at Eastern for years to come.

View the Astronomy and Physics brochure.

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