Boulder is home to cutting-edge research in a wide array disciplines of astrophysics and planetary science. Undergraduate and graduate students in the APS Department work with faculty and staff associated with many Boulder-based research institutions, both internal and external to the CU-Boulder campus. The department has strengths in observational and theoretical astronomy, instrumentation, planetary science, and solar & space physics. As the largest public academic recipient of NASA funding in the nation, CU-Boulder has particularly distinguished itself in the area of space-based astronomy: it is the only academic institution to have designed and built missions and instruments to explore every planet in the solar system. By housing both astrophysicists and planetary scientists, APS is a unique environment where observers, theorists, and instrumentationalists regularly come together, discuss their results, and forge new paths of inquiry to better understand the universe.

Affiliated Research Institutions

While most of the rostered faculty conduct their research at one of three institutions: CASAJILA, or LASP, there are a number of additional research institutions affliated with the University of Colorado, Boulder.  


Through LASP, we've sent missions to every part of the solar system including Pluto. We are actively involved in building and managing spacecraft missions for NASA and other world partners, and are constantly proposing new ideas to be included on future expeditions.