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. June 7, 2021Modeling the mysteries of the universe, closer to home
    map of world

    At first glance, astrophysics may not seem to have much in common with tracking and predicting the spread of a global virus. But to Professor Niayesh Afshordi, the link was clear – even early last year as our collective reaction to COVID-19 played out in real time.

  2. May 17, 2021DESI launches five-year quest to understand the universe
    baryon acoustic oscillation

    The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), an international collaboration aiming to unravel the mystery of dark energy and fill in our 3D map of the universe, officially began on May 17.

    There is a pattern printed on the fabric of spacetime.

    Each piece of the pattern looks, in two dimensions, like a circle surrounded by a ring – as if some cosmic hand had thrown pebbles into the dense early universe, creating splash-points and ripples – then suddenly froze the pond.

  3. 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.

Read all news
  1. Sep. 29, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM
    Rachael Beaton

    Rachael Beaton is currently a Carengie-Princeton Fellow at Princeton University. She completed her PhD in 2014 from the University of Virginia and completed a postdoctoral appointment at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science before moving to Princeton as a Hubble Fellow in 2017. Rachael is an observational astronomer working on large and small surveys that address modern challenges in cosmology using distances. 

  2. Oct. 13, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM
    Jack Evin-Poole

    Dr Jack Elvin-Poole is a postdoctoral fellow at the Ohio State's Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP). He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester in 2018 where he studied the large-scale structure of the universe and neutrino cosmology. His main research interests are using galaxy clustering and weak gravitational lensing to test the Lambda-CDM cosmological model.

  3. Oct. 27, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM
    Jingjing Shi

    Jingjing Shi is a IPMU fellow at Kavli IPMU in Japan. She investigates the interplay between large scale structure, dark matter halos, and galaxies. She got her PhD in 2017 from SISSA in Italy. Prior to joining IPMU, she was a Boya fellow at KIAA in Peking University. 

All upcoming events