Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, PAS


Name: Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, PAS

Address: ul. Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland



Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center is a leading astronomical institute in Poland. Established in the modern form in 1978, the Center operates in Warsaw and in Toruń. There are 65 faculty members and 41 PhD students working at the Center. Subjects of research include studies of objects on all scales in the Universe, from small bodies close to the Earth, through stellar and extragalactic astronomy and astrophysics, to global structure of the Universe. All possible methods of research are used: observational astronomy across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, using most advanced observatories both on Earth and orbital ones; theoretical astrophysics; numerical simulations run on both local CAMK cluster and using big computational facilities, both in Poland and abroad. A relatively new branch developed currently is instrumental astronomy, with both small projects done entirely at CAMK and the involvement in big, international projects.

Disciplines: astronomy, astrophysics, particle astrophysics

Fields of activity:

  • stellar astrophysics: structure and evolution of stars and stellar systems;
  • high energy astrophysics: studying processes leading to emission high energy radiation (UV, X-ray, gamma-ray);
  • gravitational wave astronomy: studies of sources of gravitational waves and methods of their detection;
  • observational optical astronomy: calibrating a cosmic distance scale.

Latest achievements:

  • determining the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud with an accuracy of 1% (team led by Grzegorz Pietrzyński);
  • participation in the registration of gravitational waves by LIGO-VIRGO detectors, coming from the merging of two compact objects (team led by Michał Bejger);
  • first detection of a gamma-ray burst in very-high-energy gamma light first time detected a gamma-ray burst in very-high-energy gamma light.(team participating in the HESS project);
  • solving the mystery of “red novae” stars (Romuald Tylenda);
  • crucial contribution to the discovery of the first black hole with mass around 70 Solar masses (Krzysztof Belczyński).

Research facilities:

network of robotic telescopes (Solaris); Cerro Armazones observatory; access to H.E.S.S., SALT observatories; computational facilities

Contact person:

Professor Rafał Moderski
Deputy Director for Research
(+48 22) 329 61 13