CASTOR: A Flagship Space Astronomy Mission for Canada


Friday March 1, 2024
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Event Category

Sarah Gallagher
Professor, Physics and Astronomy & Director, Institute for Earth and Space Exploration, Western University


The Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and uv Research (CASTOR) is a proposed Canadian Space Agency (CSA) mission that would image the skies at ultraviolet (UV) and blue-optical wavelengths simultaneously. Operating close to its diffraction limit, the 1-m CASTOR telescope is designed with a spatial resolution similar to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), but with a field of view about one hundred times larger.  The exciting science enabled by the CASTOR suite of instruments and the planned legacy surveys encompasses small bodies in the Solar System, exoplanet atmospheres, cosmic explosions, supermassive black holes, galaxy evolution, and cosmology.  In addition, this survey mapping capability would add UV coverage to wide-field surveys planned for the Euclid and Roman telescopes and enhance the science return on these missions.  With a CSA-funded phase 0 study already complete, the CASTOR science case and engineering design is on track for a launch in 2030 pending continued funding.


Dr. Sarah  Gallagher is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Director of the multi-disciplinary Institute for Earth and Space Exploration at Western University. As the first Science Advisor to the President of the Canadian Space Agency (2018-2022), she served as the liaison to the space science community and the Chief Science Advisor of Canada. Her research focuses on understanding the growth of supermassive black holes and the evolution of galaxies.  She is active in science policy and an advocate for creating a diverse and inclusive space science community.  She regularly talks to the public about astronomy and space, and is currently serving as the President of the Canadian Astronomical Society.

Timbits, coffee, tea will be served in STI A before the colloquium.


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