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The Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Québec (CRAQ), under the co-direction of Kenneth J. Ragan (McGill University) and Pierre Bergeron (Université de Montréal), regroups all professional astrophysicists from the province of Québec. Our astrophysicists are leaders in several fields of theoretical and experimental research, as emphasized by the awarding to Québec astrophysicists of seven Canada Research Chairs in Astrophysics, one in Experimental Astro-particles Physics, and two NSERC Industrial Research Chairs.

The CRAQ gathers the skills of all astrophysicists in Québec in order to reinforce the synergy between theorists, observers, and instrumentalists working in our institutions, and favor the integration of all CRAQ researchers to the activities revolving around four major axes: astrophysics, the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique Expérimentale (LAE), the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM), and public outreach.

The main research themes covered by CRAQ astrophysicists are:

Formation, structure, evolution and death of stars
Interstellar medium physics
Gaseous and stellar structure, and Galaxies dynamics and evolution
High-energy astrophysics
Design and manufacture of astronomical instruments

The LAE, universally renowned, is the largest university research unit in astronomical instrumentation in Canada. It regroups all the CRAQ researchers participating in the development of cutting-edge instrumentation for ground projects or space missions, both national and international.

The OMM, the largest observatory still in use for astrophysical research in the eastern part of North America, located near Sherbrooke, QC, received its first light in 1978. The OMM was created to promote the development of astronomy in Québec universities, to provide cutting-edge instruments to Québec astronomers and to favor the prosperity of astronomy. Thus, with now about ten high-technology observational instruments, the OMM constitutes an important tool for research and formation. In addition to providing the observations used by Québec astrophysicists, the OMM represents the ideal test bench for the instruments developed by the LAE.

Astronomy provides a significant contribution to popular science in Québec, and the contribution of CRAQ researchers represents an important part. Such an organization in the domain of theoretical and experimental astrophysics is unique in Québec and even in Canada.


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