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Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

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Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mail Office
Science B 605
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
Tel: (403) 220-5385
Fax: 403) 289-3331

Undergrad Info:
Science B 605
(403) 220-8127

Institutes and Facilities


External Facilities

View External Facilities in a larger map

Astronomy and Astrophysics Group

The department's Astronomy and Astrophysics Group also visit and utilize a range of national and international observatories.

Within Canada and the U.S. the facilities used are:
The facilities used in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, U.S. are:
Internationally, the astronomy and astrophysics researchers use:
Moving even farther away, the department's researchers make use of:

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Group

Experimentalists in the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Group are involved in two of Canada's newest major atomic and molecular science installations, the Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and TRIUMF, Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Internationally, the facilities used by department members are CERN: the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, the facilities at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, the Control Engineering Laboratory at the University of Oulu, Finland, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasedena, CA, U.S.

Environmental Physics and Isotope Science Group

Researchers within the department's Environmental Physics and Isotope Science Group currently make use of the John de Laeter Centre for Isotope Research in Perth, Western Australia.

Space Physics Group

Members of the department's Space Physics Group use a number of national and international facilities including the Bristol Aerospace Ltd payload assembly and test facility in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, the CSA David Florida Laboratory (test facility) in Ottawa, ON, Canada, the Andoya Rocket Range in Andoya, Norway, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) spacecraft assembly facility in Sagamihara, Japan, the Uchinoura Launch Facility, Kagoshima Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan, NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, VA, U.S., the NASA Poker Flat Research Range in Poker Flat, AK, U.S., Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar in Poker Flat, AK, U.S., and the Resolute Incoherent Scatter Radar in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada.

Internal Facilities

Researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have access to a wide range of modern instrumentation and research facilities. The bulk of the Department of Physics and Astronomy is located within the Science B Building on the Main Campus of the University of Calgary. This building contains:

Located less than a half hour walk from Science B, Medical Physics is housed within the Foothills Hospital complex. The Radiation Oncology Group is situated in the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, while the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Group is housed at the Seaman Family MR Research Centre.

Traveling further, the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, operated by the department, is located in the foothills southeast of the city, near the town of Priddis, Alberta. The facilities at the RAO are mainly used for community programs and undergraduate research, but some faculty and graduate research is performed using the RAO facilities as well.

The Auroral Imaging Group within ISIS operates an array of ground based instrumentation accross Canada used to research the Aurora. Map images of the instrument locations for the current projects are below.

THEMIS                                                                         NASCAM


Rainbow                                                                         Riometer