Department of Physics & Astronomy

Nicholas Suntzeff

Distinguished Professor

Nicholas Suntzeff


Nicholas Suntzeff is an observational astronomer, working the fields of cosmology, supernovae, galaxy evolution and large-scale structure, stellar populations, astronomical site surveys, and instrumentation. Suntzeff studied mathematics at Stanford University (B.S. with distinction 1974) and astronomy and astrophysics at Lick Observatory, UC Santa Cruz (Ph.D. 1980). He has worked as an astronomer at the University of Washington, the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, and the US National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in La Serena, Chile where he was the Associate Director for Science for NOAO. In 1994 with Dr. Brian Schmidt, he co-founded the High-Z Supernova Team which in 1998 discovered acceleration and the presence of Dark Energy in the Universe. He was also a co-founder of the Calan/Tololo Supernova Survey which established Type Ia supernovae as the most precise markers for measuring cosmological distances.

Awards and Recognition