About the Center


About the Center

The Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences is a research institute at the University of Arkansas founded in 2000, which is a partnership between several departments (Biological Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Electrical Engineering, Geosciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics), three colleges (Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, and the Honors College), and the Graduate School. An integral part of the Center is its truly interdisciplinary graduate degree program in Space and Planetary Sciences.

The Center is home to several research facilities, including the unique W.M. Keck Laboratory for Planetary Simulations, which are utilized in many of our planetary science research projects. Current projects include laboratory and computer simulations of Pluto, Venus, Mars, and icy moons of the outer solar system such as Saturn's moon Titan. Several groups are involved in astro-biological research; others explore questions of planetary geomorphology. Instrument design for simulation chambers, future missions, and cube satellites comprise engineering aspects of the Center's research. A large astrophysical program of the Center, called AGES, correlates galaxy structure with central black-hole mass, studies active galactic nuclei, binary star systems, and other astrophysical problems.

As a university research center, we are student-oriented. In partnership with the academic departments, we offer masters and doctoral programs in space and planetary science, and we offer concentrations in space and planetary science within the departmental graduate programs in biology, geology, geography, and physics. For undergraduate students, the Center frequently hosts a competitive Summer Research Experience for undergraduates. Finally, we take the excitement of our research to the general public and to future generations of scientists and their teachers in the public schools and community through a variety of outreach programs.

We invite you to explore this site to learn more about us, our students, our research, and other activities. Please contact us if you would like to participate with the Center as a visiting scientist, study and do research with us as a graduate student, a summer intern, or a high school teacher, or if you are a curious person with questions and interests to share.

Larry Roe —Director