Key Laboratory of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics(Nanjing University), Ministry of Education
In 2006, by the endorsement of the ministry of education, Nanjing University had made preparation for thesetting of “Key Laboratory of Modern Astronomy andAstrophysics, Ministry of Education”, as the successor of the former “Professional Laboratory of Astronomical Data Analysis and Computational Physics”.The fundamental mission is to promote the combination and development of astrophysics, astrometry and celestial mechanics, to make a great breakthrough in scientific researches, and to serve the nationaleconomy and defense construction. It is worth mentioning that this laboratory is the only key laboratory of the Ministry of Education in the astronomy discipline and has become one of the very influential bases for scientific inquiry, talents’ cultivation and academic exchange.
The primary goal of the laboratory is to foster frontier research in a vibrant intellectual environment and to engage in both theoretical and observational initiatives, exploitation and utilization of astronomical facilities. Its general development has always been closely linked with the national medium-and-long term plan of science and technology. With respects to the development of astronomy, the laboratory aims at cutting-edge-research,pushing forward the process of internationalization. Simultaneously, it emphasizes the importance of astrometry and celestial mechanics, actively participating in nationalaerospace and defense research programs.
Depend on the platform of Nanjing University, and to conform with its previous academic achievements, talent advantages and advanced equipment, the laboratory focuses on the following research directions:
High energy astrophysics
Physics of solar active regions
Galactic astrophysics and cosmology
Non-linear celestial mechanics, formation and evolution of planetary systems
Astrometry and astronomical references
Deep space exploration and aerospace dynamics
There are currently 58 members in total in the laboratory, with 46 permanent staff and 12 temporary staff. Among them 51 have obtained doctoral degrees. Outstanding professors in the laboratory include:
4 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,
4 Chair Professor of Cheung Kong Scholars,
8 supported by theNational Outstanding Youth Funds,
7 supported by “the New Century Outstanding Personnel Support Programs”, Ministry of Education,
4 “Global Young Experts Program” Scholars,
2 winners of the National Excellent Youth Fund Awards,
2 supported by Jiangsu Provincial Outstanding Youth Funds.
The astrophysics research team has been supported bythe Innovation Groups Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation for the first time in the discipline of Astronomy.
The laboratory undertakes several national and provincial projects, including“973 Project” and its sub-projects,“The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars” projects,and “National Excellent Youth Fund” projects and key projects.
Remarkable achievements have been in the fields ofPhysics of Compact Stellar Objects, Gamma Ray Bursts, Solar Activities, Galactic Structure and ExoplanetFormation and Detection. In the past 10 years, it has been awarded 2 The National Natural Science Award (second prize), 5 The Ministry of Education Natural Science Award (first prize), and 2 The Ministry of Education Natural Science Award (second prize).
The laboratory was constructed on the basis of two national key disciplines, namely, astrophysics and astrometry and celestial mechanics. In addition, astronomy, the characteristic major approved by both the Ministry of Education and Jiangsu province, has been evaluated as the national first-level key discipline. It enrolls about 50 undergraduates and 20 postgraduates each year, proudly known as the largest astronomy program for undergraduate level in China.