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Astronomy

Table Mountain Observatory
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Learn More About This Program

More program information

Learn more about the Astronomy program.

Studying the stars at Pomona College is a long tradition, that has prepared many students for exciting careers in astronomy and astrophysics. Our program is a collaboration with Harvey Mudd College, and offers many opportunities for research at Pasadena area research institutions such as Caltech and the Carnegie observatories.

At the turn of the century, astronomers working at Pomona College under the direction of Frank Brackett conducted exacting positional observations of stars, and measured the locations and shapes of sunspots. Since those years, the college has built an extensive set of facilities, which includes the on-campus Frank P. Brackett Observatory housing two computer controlled 14″ telescopes and a horizontal solar telescope. Pomona College is unique among undergraduate-only institutions in that it owns and operates a 1-meter telescope at the high altitude Table Mountain site in nearby Wrightwood. This research-grade telescope is dedicated to observations by students in their coursework and research.

The Astronomy Program offers a B.A. in physics with an astronomy option. This course of study has been effective in providing our students with the experience needed for future careers in astronomy and astrophysics research, as well as industry. We also offer a minor in astronomy, and a degree in Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences in collaboration with the Geology department.

Pomona College offers the astronomy program jointly with Harvey Mudd College, which allows us to offer a wider range of upper-division astronomy courses not usually found at small colleges. Current offerings range from literary courses such as “Archaeoastronomy & World Cosmology” to heavily mathematical courses such as “General Relativity”. One of the most popular courses on campus, “Life in the Universe”, covers topics such as astrobiology and water on Mars.

In the past several years our graduates have gone on to PhD programs in Astronomy and Astrophysics at such places as Yale U., Columbia U., U. Michigan, U. Minnesota, U. Colorado, U. Massachussets (Amherst), Cornell U., Dartmouth U. and U. Wisconsin.

For information on the program, observatories or classes, please contact Dr. Bryan Penprase, the program director, or Dr. Phillip Choi.

Faculty
Name/ContactTitleProfileWebPhoneLocation
Philip ChoiAssociate Professor of Physics and Astronomy (909) 621-8724Seeley G. Mudd 213
Loredana VetereVisiting Faculty (909) 621-830Seeley G. Mudd 216B
Janice HudgingsDean of the College, Seeley W. Mudd Professor of Physics (909) 621-8137Alexander Hall 223
Alfred KwokAssociate Professor of Physics and Astronomy (909) 621-8729Seeley G. Mudd 211
Richard MawhorterProfessor of Physics and Astronomy (909) 621-8725Seeley G. Mudd 212
Thomas MooreProfessor of Physics and Astonomy (909) 621-8726Mason Hall 107
Bryan PenpraseProfessor of Physics and Astronomy (909) 621-8727Lincoln Building 2019
David TanenbaumProfessor of Physics and Astronomy (909) 607-8722Seeley G. Mudd 215
Dwight WhitakerAssociate Professor of Physics (909) 607-9795Seeley G. Mudd 216A
Alma ZookProfessor of Physics and Astronomy (909) 621-8723Seeley G. Mudd 214
Emeriti Faculty
Name/ContactTitleProfileWebPhoneLocation
Catalin Mitescu Emeritus Faculty Member
Staff
Name/ContactTitlePhoneLocation
Natalie HughesAcademic Coordinator (909) 621-8724Seeley G. Mudd 217
Glenn FlohrSenior Laboratory Machinist (909) 621-8720Seaver North 7
Tony GrigsbySenior Electronics Technician (909) 621-8718Seeley G. Mudd 140-141
David HaleySenior Laboratory Technician (909) 621-8721Seeley G. Mudd 132

Mailing AddressPomona College, Astronomy, 610 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711

Phone(909) 621-8724

Campus LocationMillikan Building