...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.
2023 was a big year for outreach in the WCA!
In the last year the WCA's outreach program has expanded into several new areas. Find out what we've been up to!
The X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), and the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), were sucessfully launched onboard the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 47 (H-IIA F47) at 8:42:11 am on September 7, 2023 (Japan Standard Time, JST)/ 7:42:11 pm on September 6, 2023 (EDT) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
Join us to watch the Perseids meteor shower at UWaterloo!
Every August, the Earth's orbit passes through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Fragments of the comet burn up in our atmosphere, leading to the Perseids meteor shower, one of the most prolific shooting star shows of the year.
Ian Roberts earned his PhD from McMaster University in 2020, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Leiden Observatory until 2023, and is currently a Banting Fellow at the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics. His research interests cover various aspects of galaxy evolution, across multiple wavelengths, with a focus on the impact of the galaxy cluster environment on star formation.
Most galaxies harbour monster black holes, millions to billions of times the Sun's mass, at their centres. These black holes are central to how galaxies formed, and how they have evolved, over nearly 14 billion years of existence. At this month's KPL astronomy talk, Dr. Brian McNamara will speak about these supermassive black holes, explaining how they work and how astronomers learn about them.
Born in South Africa with a PhD from the University of Cape Town, Dr. Michelle Lochner is a Senior Lecturer with a joint position between the University of the Western Cape and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (formerly SKA South Africa). Her focus is on cosmology and trying to get the best out of combining optical and radio telescopes like the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, in Chile, as well as the Square Kilometre Array and its precursor, MeerKAT, in South Africa.