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The research activity at CAUP is organized in two large science teams on the following topics:
 
Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets
The key objectives of the team are to address the important issues of the fundamental physics driving the formation and evolution of stars and planets. Both observational and modeling components are addressed.
Galaxies and Observational Cosmology
We aim to provide world-class contributions to the understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe and its large-scale structures. Our strategic focus is on the observational aspects of cosmology (ranging from the radio to the X-ray), but our multi-disciplinary expertise and interests encompass theory, phenomenology, high-performance computing and astronomical instrumentation.
Astronomical Instrumentation
The scientific participation in the technical development of Astronomical Instrumentation, which transverses both major scientific areas in CAUP, is also pursued. Its importance steams from the need to secure privileged access to existing and future facilities of the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and of the European Space Agency (ESA) and to contribute to the long term development of Astronomy in Portugal.