James Van Allen


Outreach and Public Engagement

News and Announcements

Legendary Iowa space physicist Donald Gurnett passes away at 81

Friday, January 14, 2022
Donald Gurnett, a pioneering space scientist whose career as a student, teacher, and researcher at the University of Iowa spanned more than 60 years, died on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. He was 81.

Astronomers identify potential clue to reinonization of universe

Monday, January 10, 2022
About 400,000 years after the universe was created began a period called “The Epoch of Reionization.” During this time, the once hotter universe began to cool and matter clumped together, forming the first stars and galaxies. As these stars and galaxies emerged, their energy heated the surrounding environment, reionizing some of the remaining hydrogen in the universe.

Meteor spotted, caught on video in Iowa sky: 'I just saw this sparkling ball'

Sunday, January 9, 2022
Philip Kaaret, professor and chair, and Caroline Roberts, Astronomy Laboratory coordinator and Van Allen Observatories manager, both from the University of Iowa, talk to George Shillcock about recent meteors captured on video.

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$ 19 m

In annual research expenditures

Top 15 %

Among physics departments in the US
(U.S. News and World Reports)

Very High

Research 1: Doctoral Universities
Research Activity
(Carnegie Classification)


Full-time Faculty


Students taught in introductory courses per year (2015-2019)


Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Majors


Graduate Students in Physics and Astronomy