Together with our sibling units: CITA and the Dunlap Institute and with faculty from the UTSC and UTM campuses, the Department has a strong research presence in the world of astronomy. The exciting research carried out here in Toronto ranges from the origin of the universe, to star and galaxy formation, and to extra-solar planets.

We have an active experimental programme using telescopes on long-duration stratospheric balloons telescopes for cosmological and Galactic research. We are engaged with the Herschel Space Observatory and Planck, launched in 2009 and with SCUBA2 at JCMT.  The department has been involved in proposing and building the MOST micro-satellite and the BRITE nano-satellite.

The department also makes use of many of the world’s major ground-based and satellite observing facilities. Of particular importance are the national facilities: the Canada-France-Hawaii 3.6m optical telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell submm telescope, the Gemini twin 8m telescopes, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, all located at the world’s finest observing sites. Furthermore, Canada is a partner in the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, the Thirty-Metre-Telescope, and the Square Kilometre Array. An endowment fund supports student travel for observations and conferences.