For 75 years, CU Boulder has been a leader in space exploration and innovation. We travel to space to monitor sea level rise, melting ice, weather patterns and more. Our researchers explore how to track and remove dangerous debris in space. We research the health of humans in space to inform medical applications for people on Earth. Learn more about the latest in space research and science at CU Boulder.

Assistant Professor Hisham Ali

Construction underway on plasma wind tunnel to advance hypersonics

July 28, 2023

A new laboratory for a plasma wind tunnel is taking shape in the aerospace building at CU Boulder. The project is the vision of Assistant Professor Hisham Ali.

Illustration showing two merging black holes creating undulations in the fabric of space and time

Scientists use exotic stars to tune into hum from cosmic symphony

June 28, 2023

An international collaboration, including researchers from CU Boulder, has for the first time uncovered compelling evidence of what scientists call the "gravitational wave background"—enormous undulations in the fabric of space and time.

Matter swirls around a central black hole as it emits a bright jet

Weighing the mysterious black holes lurking at the hearts of galaxies

June 20, 2023

At the center of nearly all large galaxies in the cosmos sits a supermassive black hole. In new research, a CU Boulder astrophysicist explores what might happen if you put these giants one-by-one on a massive scale.

rendering of small satellite in orbit around Earth

New keen-sighted satellite will view distant stars, assist Webb telescope

June 8, 2023

The new mini-satellite, called MANTIS, will be designed and built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. It borrows its name from the mantis shrimp, an undersea creature with famously powerful eyesight.

Man wearing a lab coat and gloves makes adjustments inside a large metal chamber

Space tractor beams may not be the stuff of sci-fi for long

June 1, 2023

One day, small spacecraft could fly around Earth, using devices called electron beams to remove hulking, derelict spacecraft from orbit without ever having to touch. It may sound like science fiction, but aerospace engineers from CU Boulder say they could be ready to test the idea in space in just five to 10 years.

asteroid covered in shadows with sun in the background

Avoiding Armageddon: Researchers narrow down list of potentially hazardous asteroids

May 31, 2023

The asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) measures about two-thirds of a mile across. It will also remain in Earth's vicinity for much of the next 1,000 years. CU Boulder aerospace engineer Oscar Fuentes-Muñoz says its important to study objects like this one to make sure they don't pose a risk to life on our planet.

Students working on a research project on the CU Boulder campus.

Mapping the Milky Way in a can of olive oil

May 23, 2023

Assistant Professor Meredith MacGregor and National Institute of Standards and Technology Physicist Jake Connors taught their graduate students how to build and use radio horn antennas to locate neutral hydrogen in space.

Artist's depiction of a planet covered in volcanoes

Newly discovered planet is the size of Earth, but may be covered in volcanoes

May 17, 2023

A team of astrophysicists, including two researchers from CU Boulder, have caught a glimpse of a new and rocky planet called LP 791-18d. There, temperatures on the dayside could climb to more than 250 degrees Fahrenheit, while volcanoes blast the planet's surface.

Saturn's rings partially in shadow

How old are Saturn’s rings? Far younger than once thought, according to new study

May 12, 2023

New research led by Sascha Kempf of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder finds that Saturn's rings are no more than 400 million years old. That's much younger than Saturn itself, which formed around 4.5 billion years ago.

Solar flare erupt from the sun

How 1,000 undergraduates helped solve an enduring mystery about the sun

May 9, 2023

For three years at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, CU Boulder students enrolled in "Experimental Physics I" spent an estimated 56,000 hours analyzing the behavior of hundreds of solar flares. Their results could help astrophysicists understand how the sun's corona reaches temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit.