STFC’s astronomy and space science programme supports scientists investigating some of the biggest questions in astrophysics, cosmology and solar system science.
Astronomy is one of the oldest branches of science, fascinating humans from the earliest times. Using telescopes and satellites to observe the skies, as well as theoretical and simulation work, astronomers study how the Universe began and evolved to its present state, how galaxies form and why our solar system looks as it does.
STFC’s astronomy and space science programme provides support for a wide range of facilities, research groups and individuals in order to investigate some of the highest priority questions in astrophysics, cosmology and solar system science.
Astronomers and space scientists at universities around the UK are some of the world’s best, working on answers to these and other questions identified in our science challenges.
Our programme aims to address each of the four key science questions in the science challenges.
STFC provides grants to universities and research institutions to support the development of generic technologies, astronomy theory and the exploitation of facilities in astronomy and space science. Much of this funding goes to support post-doctoral research associates, which are the backbone of the UK’s research effort.
Support for space science is delivered through the UK Space Agency for project build activities, and through STFC research grants for mission science exploitation.
STFC’s RAL Space and UK Astronomy Technology Centre support their own programmes of technology and facility development.