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.


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.

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.