Going to infinity with Gustav Bakos

Star light, star bright

To infinity and beyond!

We’re not talking about Buzz Lightyear taking on the evil Zurg - we’re talking about the inspiration you’ll find on a clear Wednesday night at Waterloo's Gustav Bakos Observatory.

Our on-campus observatory, which is operated by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was named for the University’s first astronomer and houses a 12-inch telescope located on the top of our Physics building.

physics building in autumn

The observatory (which is celebrating its 50th birthday), has been active in research on visual binary stars, for undergraduate student assignments, and most excitingly, to those who are amateur stargazers, for public tours and viewing opportunities.

Public tours are open to anyone including students, on the first Wednesday of each month. Here you’ll have a chance to look through our telescope. Before the viewing, there’s a short talk on astronomy (around 30 minutes) and an opportunity to ask questions. From there you’ll take a tour of the dome.

Seeing everything up close is pretty cool, even if your knowledge of astronomy stops at the Big Dipper. If the weather isn’t cooperating, the observing will not be possible (thanks, clouds), but the talk and tour will still take place.

If you’re looking for a study break, an idea for a free date, or an opportunity to geek out on stars, set a reminder in your calendar for the first Wednesday of the month.