Peking University-BeijingKavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Serving as a global center of excellence in astronomy and astrophysics, attracting scientists from around the world

The Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) is designed to be a forum for global scientific exchange, an incubator for innovative projects, and a training center for postdocs and students. It carries out research on the origin and evolution of astrophysical structures from the scales of planetary systems and stars up to that of the universe as a whole.

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Luis Ho

Director, Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Xue-Bing Wu

Associate Director of Administration, Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Gregory Herczeg

Associate Director of Science, Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics


  • OBSERVATIONAL COSMOLOGY, GALAXY FORMATION AND EVOLUTION: Galaxies, and their accumulated gas, stars and dust, are the main visible manifestations of structure in the universe. Understanding galaxy formation and evolution is one of the key problems in astrophysics, combining the fields of stellar populations, gravitational dynamics, gas physics, active galactic nuclei, computer simulations and cosmology.
  • INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM, STAR FORMATION, AND PLANETS: The interstellar medium, consisting of gas, dust and magnetic fields, is the raw material from which stars and planets form. This area of research studies the structure of the ISM, as well as the detailed formation and evolution of stars, star clusters and planetary systems.
  • GRAVITATIONAL PHYSICS AND HIGH-ENERGY PHENOMENA: Gravitational physics research involves studies of applications of numerical relativity, black hole dynamics, sources of gravitational radiation, critical phenomena in gravitational collapse, the initial value problem of general relativity, and relativistic astrophysics. These studies also include the many high energy phenomena associated with these processes.
  • COMPUTATIONAL ASTROPHYSICS: Astrophysics is one of the leading fields in the use of computational power to understand complex phenomena. Simulations can constrain theories and be matched to observations on a large range of scales: from relativistic binaries, accretion disks, and star forming regions, to star clusters, whole galaxies, and cosmological volumes of the Universe.

Chinese Space Station Telescope

KIAA is one of key institutes leading the scientific development for the Chinese Space Station Telescope, which will have a 2-meter diameter primary mirror and is expected to have a field of view 300 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope.

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At Kavli Institutes around the world, scientists explore the frontiers of science in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics.

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