The Astronomy Research Centre (ARC)

ARC astronomers instrumental in New Horizon’s trip to Ultima Thule

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Galaxy merger images from GalNet/Connor Bottrell & Maan Hani


GalNet graduate students Connor Bottrell and Maan Hani use deep learning networks to identify galaxy mergers from simulated images.

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A sample of the disks surveyed.  Credit: N. van den Marel et al

Protoplanetary disk gaps throughout the ages

NRC-Herzberg and UVic astronomers used ALMA archival data to study the gap structures in a large sample of protoplanetary disks and came to new conclusions regarding their origin.

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A  star  recently  discovered  by  the  Pristine  survey  may  have  formed  in  the  early  universe.  An  artist  impression  of  the  early  universe  during  a  period  of  rapid  star  formation.  Credit:  Adolf  Schaller/STScI

The Pristine Survey

An international team is investigating the oldest stars in our universe in an effort to learn more about the young universe right after the Big Bang. The team includes ARC members Kim Venn, Julio Navarro, Collin Kielty, Patrick Cote and Alan McConnachie.


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Ruobing Dong studies planet formation

ARC astrophysicists Ruobing Dong studies the birthplace of planets.

Ruobing Dong studies planet formation by examining the protoplanetary disk, made of dust and gas, surrounding a newborn star.

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Important notice on TMT: On July 23, 2019, UVic issued a statement on the TMT project on Mauna Kea.


The Astronomy Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Victoria brings together world-renowned researchers in astrophysics, engineering, computation, and instrumentation working in or near Victoria, BC.

UVic scientists and engineers work closely with colleagues at the nearby NRC Herzberg Institute in Saanich, the NRC DRAO in Penticton, and at TRIUMF in Vancouver, to form one of the largest concentrations of astronomy-related talent in Canada.

Our research

Members of the ARC are engaged in a wide variety of scientific and engineering research.  Science programs including searching for exoplanets, studying the environments for star formation, calculating the evolutionary stages of stellar and galaxy evolution, modelling nuclear processes in stars and in the formation of galaxies, and participating in team science related to astronomical instrumentation and future observational facilities.

Engineering programs range from new adaptive optics technologies, phased array feeds for higher sensitivities at long wavelengths, and exquisite wide field imaging and spectroscopic instrumentation.  

ARC members are also leaders in the operations and development of the next-generation astronomical facilities, such as the Thirty Meter Telescope to be built on Maunakea, the developments at the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array in Chile, and instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope to be launched in 2018. 

More information

Please contact us if you would like to know more about the ARC and its activities.

Our mission is to communicate the exciting astronomical research being done at/with UVic, to facilitate new collaborations and synergy, to support high quality undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training, and to foster public engagement in science.

The Director of the ARC oversees its organization and communications, and helps to promote the extraordinary research in astronomy being done at/with UVic. 

ARC Director :  Prof. Kim Venn (Physics & Astronomy)

Members of the ARC are drawn from the Departments of Physics and AstronomyMechanical EngineeringElectrical & Computer Engineering, the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, NRC Herzberg Institute in Saanich, NRC DRAO Institute in Penticton, and TRIUMF  in Vancouver.    

Please see the full list of our members through the People tab.

If you are interested in joining the ARC, please contact us.

The Program Management Team helps to identify and prioritize the goals of the ARC, and oversees the strategic planning to reach those goals.   This team is comprised of members from all significant partners in the ARC.  

ARC Program Management Team members:   

Prof. Adam Ritz  (Physics & Astronomy, Chair)
Prof. Falk Herwig (Physics & Astronomy)
Prof. Sara Ellison (Physics & Astronomy)
Prof. Colin Bradley (Mechanical Engineering)
Dr. Iris Dillmann (TRIUMF)
Dr. JJ Kavelaars (NRC Herzberg)
Dr. James Di Francesco (NRC Herzberg)