Canada has a rich tradition in astronomical research and has earned a high level of international recognition. Canada ranked first in the world in 2004 for the number of citations per article published in the field of space science. Canada is particularly strong in theoretical astronomy, optical and radio astronomy, and now in particle astronomy thanks to the addition of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

The next generation of astronomers is very active and shows great promise. No less than 25 university departments now offer an astronomy education in Canada. If you are a student and would like to pursue your interest in the sky, you will need an education in pure and applied sciences (physics, mathematics, computer science and a little chemistry), in addition to skills in observation, writing and communicating, topped off with a good dose of logic, patience and determination.
Canada has a rich tradition in astronomical research and has earned a high level of international recognition. Canada ranked first in the world in 2004 for the number of citations per article published in the field of space science. Canada is particularly strong in theoretical astronomy, optical and radio astronomy, and now in particle astronomy thanks to the addition of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

The next generation of astronomers is very active and shows great promise. No less than 25 university departments now offer an astronomy education in Canada. If you are a student and would like to pursue your interest in the sky, you will need an education in pure and applied sciences (physics, mathematics, computer science and a little chemistry), in addition to skills in observation, writing and communicating, topped off with a good dose of logic, patience and determination.

© 2006 An original idea and a realization of the ASTROLab of Mont-Mégantic National Park

Colour photo of the Orion nebula

The Orion nebula.

Obscur Projet d'Imagerie of the Mont-Mégantic Observatory

© Obscur Projet d'Imagerie of the Mont-Mégantic Observatory


Colour video of Stéphanie Coté in front of images of space

Stéphanie Coté talks about women in astronomy.

Stéphanie Coté talks about women in astronomy. At this time, only about 15% of astronomers in Canada are women, but that’s changing because we know that about 25% of the students in physics and astronomy at university are women. So we hope that one day there will be more. For a long time, I was the only woman at my institute, but I see more starting to come in now, so it’s encouraging. It depends a lot on the country: in countries like France and Spain, about 50% of the astronomers are women.

ASTROLab of Mont-Mégantic National Park

© 2006 An original idea and a realization of the ASTROLab of Mont-Mégantic National Park


Colour video of Jaymie Mark Matthews in front of a telescope

Jaymie Mark Matthews talks about being an astronomer in Canada in 2005.

Canadian astronomers turn out to be the most highly cited astronomers in the world. What I mean is that we publish our research in scientific journals and then other scientists refer to our results when they are doing their own research, and it turns out that more astronomers around the world refer to Canadian research results in their articles and publications than those of any other country in the world. So it is a wonderful time to be a Canadian astronomer. We are working on projects that are at the forefront of astronomical knowledge. We are partners in some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated observatories on the Earth and in space. Our students have access to fantastic facilities like the Mont-Mégantic Observatory, where they can get their hands dirty working with real equipment before they go off to remote locations like the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii or the Andes Mountains in Chile. They can take full advantage of the facilities when they get there and really hit the ground running, or “hit the sky running”, I guess! Canadian students and Canadian astronomers are renowned for this around the world. We have a great reputation, so it is a good time to be doing astronomy in Canada.

ASTROLab of Mont-Mégantic National Park

© 2006 An original idea and a realization of the ASTROLab of Mont-Mégantic National Park


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • identify recent contributions, including Canada’s, to the development of space exploration technologies;
  • describe in detail the function of Canadian technologies involved in exploration of space;
  • draw a solar system with all its components;
  • establish the link between atoms and light using different instruments.

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