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The Sky Is No Longer the Limit.
At NCSA, we push the boundaries in a quest for answers that goes well beyond our world.

From Copernicus to Galileo, early astronomers once used simple tools to explore the mysteries of the universe. Today we chart the movement of entire galaxies light-years from our own, using sophisticated data analysis and our vast computational resources to further global research and shine new light on the darkest corners of space.

NCSA’s Astrophysical Sciences Program Office provides vital services – including trainings and workshops – to help researchers develop their work from the individual level into large-scale projects. Leveraging expertise within NCSA and across the University of Illinois, collaborations span disciplines and venture beyond limited areas of astronomy to enable groundbreaking research. 

NCSA Spotlight

Robert Gruendl headshot

Robert Gruendl
Senior Research Scientist

Robert is an astronomer specializing in large-scale data processing and analyses and is currently working on the Dark Energy Survey, Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and DECADE projects.

Over my career large astronomical surveys have already grown from catalogs of tens of thousands to nearly a billion objects. NCSA has provided the ecosystem of machines and people to tackle the computational and ensuing data problems that arise in the processing and analyses of modern astronomical surveys.

Project Highlights

Photograph of the Silver Dollar galaxy taken by the Dark Energy Survey Collaboration with the DECAM camera mounted on the Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile. The galaxy is diagonal and flat with surrounding dust and stars seen in gradients of cyan, white, and yellow shining at the center

Dark Energy Survey

According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the expansion of the cosmos should be slowing, but science has shown it’s actually speeding up.

Exterior night photograph of the South Pole Telescope with two scientists dressing in red winter coats standing in front. White snow covers the landscape and surrounding building railing with the night sky featuring glowing stars in gradients of blue, purple, and yellow

The South Pole Telescope

Where did the universe come from? And what is it actually made of? Researchers are exploring the answers to these questions and more with a special telescope located at the bottom of the world.


In the News
A visitor plays black hole pong at the NCSA Gravity Group exhibit.

EOH 2024 at NCSA

NCSA hosted award-winning exhibits, scavenger hunts and future STEM researchers at this year’s Engineering Open House.
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