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The department was founded in late sixties by Prof. D.Ya.Martynov, who for many years was also the director of Sternberg Astronomical Institute. At present time, the head of the department is Prof. A.M.Cherepashchuk, a pupil of D.Ya.Martynov and his successor as the director of SAI.
Since Prof. Martynov, the scientific activity of the department was primarily related to binary stars. Nowadays, however, it expanded to chromospheric activity of late type stars, the theory of shock waves and observations of Lunar occultaions of stars.
The department consists of 15 members most of which have Ph.D. in Astrophysics. The head of the department, Prof. Cherepashchuk, is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.