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The Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Astrophysics

The Raymond and Beverly

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute of Astronomy was inaugurated in 1994. The director is Prof. Dan Maoz

The following list provides basic information about the major research areas of members of the Institute. Members are defined as all those Ph.D.s holding a research position and affiliated with the Department of Astrophysics.
( For all people, including students and administration staff, click here! )

Beck, Sara
Brosch, Noah
Castello Mor,Nuria
Contini, Marcella
Formiggini, Liliana
Goldman, Itzhak
Irwin, Christopher
Kaspi, Shai
Kovetz, Attay
Kozyreva, Alexandra
Kozlovsky, Ben Zion
Leibowitz, Elia
Levinson, Amir
Maoz, Dan
Netzer, Hagai
Rephaeli, Yoel
Singh,Chandra B.
Sternberg, Amiel

Prof. Rennan Barkana
  • Theoretical modeling of the formation and evolution of the first generation of galaxies.
  • Theoretical modeling of the reionization of the universe, and analysis of related observations.
  • Analysis of observational probes of the properties of dark matter, including high-redshift galaxies, low-redshift dwarf galaxies, and gravitational lensing studies.
E-mail address:

Prof. Sara Beck

  • Star formation: study the ways stars are formed and how young stars behave and evolve. In particular the birth of stars in other galaxies, where conditions may be very different from what we see locally and where star formation may work extremely rapidly. This study requires observations at wavelengths from the radio, through the infrared to the optical and sometimes the ultra-violet, which are carried out at observatories in Israel and abroad.
  • Theoretical calculations to derive the astronomical conditions from the observed data on star-forming galaxies.
  • Infrared and radio observations of galaxies that have large numbers of Wolf-Rayet stars, which are a particularly violent and short-lived stage of evolution.
E-mail address:

Dr. Emer. Noah Brosch

  • Star formation in galaxies.
  • The nature of UV sources, using data from space missions in conjunction with ground-based observations.
  • The nature of dust particles in other galaxies as a component of interstellar matter and material for star forming processes.
  • Small bodies in the Solar System (meteors, comets and asteroids.
  • Astronomical instrumentation for ground and space-based observatories.
E-mail address:

Dr. Nuria Castello Mor

    Active Galactic Nuclei including:
    1. Supermassive black hole with high accretion rates modeling
    2. Studies of the AGN's nature using observations with ground based and space-based telescope (IR, Optical, UV, and X-ray)
    3. High resolution X-ray spectroscopy

E-mail address:

Dr. Marcella Contini

  • Theoretical study of AGNs: Calculate the spectrum of Seyfert galaxies, Liners, and Starburst galaxies, by a special computational code, SUMA, which consistently accounts for both the photoionizing flux and the shock.
  • The calculation and interpretation of the spectrum of novae and symbiotic stars using SUMA.
E-mail address:

Dr. Liliana Formiggini

  • Symbiotic stars: Examination of the light variation at quiescence and at outburst. The spectral behaviour is studied using optical data from the Wise and ultraviolet data from IUE space observations. The emission lines spectrum is fitted with a model which takes into account both photoionization and shock processes.
  • Preparation for TAUVEX: Identification of far UV-sources which have been spectroscopically observed by the CCD at the Florence and George Wise Observatory.
E-mail address:

Dr. Itzhak Goldman
  • Astrophysical testing of gravity theories, in particular by means of pulsar timing data.
  • Neutron stars and supernovae.
  • Astrophysical turbulence including:
    1. Accretion Disks models.
    2. Tidal interaction leading to circularization of close binaries.
    3. Turbulence in clusters of galaxies.
    4. Primordial cosmic turbulence.
  • Astroparticles: using astrophysical observations to constrain candidates for dark matter.
E-mail address:

Dr. Christopher Irwin

  • Supernova and Gamma-Ray Burst Theory
E-mail address:

Dr. Shai Kaspi

  • Studying the nature of AGNs using observations with ground based and space-based telescope (UV, Optical, and X-ray)
  • Measuring the black hole mass in Active Galactic Nuclei.
  • Study of the broad line region in Active Galactic Nuclei.
  • X-ray study of the quasars at red-shift greater than 4.
  • High resolution X-ray spectroscopy of Active Galactic Nuclei.
E-mail address:

Prof. Emer. Attay Kovetz

  • Studies of the Nova phenomenon
  • The influence of element diffusion on globular clusters
E-mail address:

Dr. Alexandra Kozyreva

  • Supernova physics
  • Stellar evolution
E-mail address:

Prof. Emer. Ben Zion Kozlovsky

  • Study of Gamma Ray radiation from Solar Flares and the implications to Abundances determination and Acceleration mechanisms.
  • Study of Gamma Ray Lines from the Interstellar Medium and the implications to the Cosmic Rays Physics and the structure of The Galaxy.
  • Study of Gamma Ray Lines from various 'exotic' objects (e.g. the center of the Galaxy, Super Nova 1987A, Nova Muscae)
  • Study of various problems in Nuclear Astrophysics (e.g production of light elements by Spallation mechanism and the relation to Gamma Ray observation)
E-mail address:

Prof. Emer. Elia M. Leibowitz

  • Study of the light curve of old classical novae: The long term photometric behaviour of all known classical novae (in collaboration with German, American and Chilean collaborators).
  • Photometry with high temporal resolution of novae near maximum light.
  • Investigation of the nature of Symbiotic stars: Optical and UV photometry and spectroscopy of Symbiotic stars.
  • The WET project: The Wise Observatory is taking an active part in the international network of optical observatories entitled the Whole Earth Telescope. A group of observatories, extending over 6 continents, are observing together for about 10 or more days one and the same astronomical object. The distribution of the observing station around Earth, enables a continuous photometric monitoring of the target object for the entire duration of such a long period of time. The "temporal spectroscopy" of variable stars provides observational data on masses and on the internal structure of stars that have no parallel in any other mode of astronomical observations.
E-mail address:

Prof. Amir Levinson

  • High-Energy Astrophysics including:
    1. Studies of the structure and emission of relativistic jets in galactic and extragalactic black holes, and the application to gamma ray emission from blazars and X ray transients.
    2. Modeling of gamma-ray bursts.
    3. Studies of the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays.
  • Astrophysical plasmas: particle acceleration, heat flux and other instubilities, nonlinear effects in high-radio-brightness sources.
  • Molecule formation in astrophysical grains.

E-mail address:

Prof. Dan Maoz

  • The nature of quasars and active galaxies, using observations with ground based and space-based telescopes.
  • Observational and theoretical study of gravitational lensing and its use for probing the mass content of the Universe.
  • Distant supernovae as tracers of star formation and element enrichment history. Observational study with the HST and ground-based telescopes.
E-mail address:

Prof. Udi Nakar

    High-energy astrophysics including:
    • Gamma-ray bursts
    • Soft-gamma repeaters
    • Relativistic collisionless-shocks
    • Particle acceleration and high-energy cosmic rays
E-mail address:

Prof.Emer. Tsevi Mazeh
  • Binary stars:
    • Spectroscopic binaries
    • Eclipsing binaries
    • Mass-ratio distribution of close binaries
  • Extra-solar planets
    • Photometric search for transiting planets
E-mail address:

Prof. Emer. Hagai Netzer
  1. Spectroscopy of active galaxies and quasars: UV, Optical, X-ray and IR
  2. Active galaxies and quasars modeling: photoionized gas, accretion disks and mass outflow
  3. Mass, metalicity and accretion rate in active galaxies: following the cosmic evolution and the starburst connection
  4. Infrared properties of active and Ultra Luminous Infrared Galaxies (Spitzer)
  5. X-ray properties of active and Ultra Luminous Infrared Galaxies (Chandra, XMM-Newton)
  6. TAUVEX: Study of the ultraviolet universe (an Israel-Indian collaboration)
E-mail address:

Prof. Dovi Poznanski

  • Observation and study of supernovae of the different kinds, thermonuclear or core-collapse, nearby or far away, known or predicted.
  • The use of supernovae as cosmological probes and as tracers of stellar evolution.
  • Harnessing modern computational capabilities to extract knowledge in the nascent field of synoptic transient surveys.
  • Study of cosmic dust and the interstellar medium via analysis of massive spectroscopic data.
E-mail address:

Prof.Emer. Yoel Rephaeli

  • Study of CMB anisotropy induced by gas in clusters of galaxies.
  • Theory of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect.
  • Non-thermal phenomena in clusters of galaxies.
  • Mass distributions in clusters of galaxies.
  • X-ray emission from starburst galaxies.
E-mail address:

Dr. Sharon Sadeh

  • Cosmic microwave background
E-mail address:

Dr. Meir Shimon

  • Cosmic microwave background and cosmological parameter estimation
  • The Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect and its cosmological applications
  • Beam systematics and their impact on CMB observations
E-mail address:

Dr. Chandra B. Singh

  • Black hole accretion-ejection phenomena:
    theory and simulations, relativistic fluid hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, dynamics of relativistic jets
E-mail address:

Prof. Amiel Sternberg

  • The Interstellar Medium.
  • Molecular Astrophysics.
  • Star Formation.
  • Active Galaxies.
  • Galaxy Formation.
  • Millimeter-wave through IR spectroscopy.
E-mail address:

Wise Observatory
Department of Astrophysics