Welcome to the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics

    ...where the Universe is our laboratory.

 The Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics (WCA) looks to the cosmos to solve the greatest mysteries of the universe. Here, world-class researchers and students come together in an atmosphere of curiosity, creativity and collaboration; exploring our cosmic origin to truly understand the physical processes at work in the Universe. From black holes to cosmology, we aim to understand what lies beyond the Earth. The possibilities for new discovery are limitless.


The Gustav Bakos Observatory houses a twelve-inch telescope, which is located on the roof of the Physics building. The observatory, in operation since 1967, has been used for research on and teaching about visual binary stars.


  1. Apr. 9, 2021The origin of water on planets in our universe
    Mike Fich

    Water is essential for life as we know it – water makes up around 70% of the human body, covers about 70% of the planet Earth, has been found in the far reaches of our universe, and is at the centre of our search for habitable planets around other stars.

  2. Mar. 25, 2021Black hole breakthrough: New images show magnetic fields around M87*
    black hole

    The black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy is like a giant fire-breathing dragon that spews enormous jets of energetic particles at near light speeds across some 5,000 light years of space.

    A new view of this black hole in polarized light, released today by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, will help astrophysicists understand just how those jets are launched by this monstrous black hole.

  3. Mar. 4, 2021Canadian astronomers to see how the universe formed with help of new $4.9 million grant
    CCAT site telescope

    A team of Canadian researchers led by University of Waterloo professor Michel Fich have been awarded $4.9 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a next generation telescope.

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  1. May 12, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM
    Megan Donahue

    Mehan Donahue's undergraduate physics S.B. degree is from MIT (1985) and her astrophysics Ph.D. is from the University of Colorado, Boulder (1990). Her post-doctoral research in observational astronomy was completed at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in Pasadena, California and at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. STScI later hired her as a staff astronomer to do research, work with the data archive team, and write science cases for the James Webb Space Telescope. In 2003, she moved to Michigan State University and re-entered academic life as a professor in the MSU Physics and Astronomy Department, in East Lansing, Michigan.

  2. May 19, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM
    Yi-Kuan Chiang

    Yi-Kuan Chiang is a CCAPP fellow at the Ohio State University working on data-intensive astronomy. He extracts cosmological and astrophysical information in the diffuse extragalactic background light in sky surveys across the electromagnetic spectrum. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and has held post-doctoral positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Tokyo.

  3. May 26, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM
    Arka Banerjee

    Arka Banerjee is a Schramm fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics at Fermilab. Previously, he got his Phd from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and then was a KIPAC postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. His  research focuses on cosmological structure formation, and its connection to fundamental physics.

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