Patrick Côté

Roles and responsibilities

I am a New Horizons researcher at NRC's Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Centre in Victoria, BC. My responsiblities include carrying out research on Canadian and international telescopes. For the last decade, I have been deeply involved in the development of new telescopes, particularly wide-field facilities. Major facilities include CASTOR in space and the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) on the ground.

Current research and/or projects

  • Canada France Imaging Survey (CFIS): A CFHT imaging survey of the northern skies that is addressing the properties of dark matter and dark energy, the growth of structure in the Universe, and the assembly of the Milky Way.
  • A Virgo Environmental Survey Tracing Ionized Gas Emission (VESTIGE): A narrowband imaging survey of the Virgo cluster aimed at studying the role of the environment on galaxy evolution.
  • Pristine: A CFHT narrow-band photometric survey focused on the metallicity-sensitive Ca H&K lines and targeting the oldest and most-poor stars in the Milky Way.
  • Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS): A CFHT imaging survey of the Virgo Cluster focused on the formation and evolution of galaxies and clusters.
  • CFHT Outer Halo Substructures Survey: A CFHT imaging survey of outer halo satellites, aimed at testing the predictions of Cold Dark Matter models.
  • Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS): A CFHT imaging survey of the Andromeda galaxy (M31).
  • Virgo Redux: A major Hubble Space Telescope survey of early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, building on previous work by extending coverage into the ultraviolet and infrared regimes.
  • ACS Fornax Cluster Survey (ACSFCS): A pointed Hubble Space Telescope survey of 43 early-type galaxies in the Fornax Cluster, and a follow up to the ACSVCS.
  • ACS Virgo Cluster Survey (ACSVCS): A pointed Hubble Space Telescope survey of 100 early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, and one of the most successful HST programs ever

Research and/or project statements

  • The Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and uv Research (CASTOR): A proposed Canadian-led space telescope. I have been lead scientist for the proposed CASTOR telescope since 2011.
  • The Euclid Mission: An M-class ESA mission, scheduled for launch in 2022, that seeks to better understand dark energy and dark matter by accurately measuring the acceleration of the universe.
  • The Astrosat Observatory: An X-ray and ultraviolet space observatory, led by the Indian Space Research Organization, with the participation of the Canadian Space Agency.
  • The Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT): A future Extremely Large Telescope project that aims to build a 30m optical/infrared telescope on in Hawaii. Canada is a partner in this international collaboration.
  • The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorder (MSE): A proposed wide-field spectroscopic survey telescope. MSE is a redevelopment of the existing Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT).


Ph.D. (Astrophysics)      McMaster University, 1994
M.Sc. (Physics)              McMaster University, 1990
B.Sc. (Astronomy)          University of Western Ontario, 1988

Key publications

Patrick Côté

Principal Research Officer
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
5071 West Saanich Road
Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2E7
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 250-363-8133


Space sciences