• MeerKAT telescope call for observing proposals

    The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) announces an opportunity to apply for observing time on the MeerKAT telescope.

    A minimum of 1,000 hours of telescope time will be awarded through this call, with all approved projects to be scheduled by no later than the end of 2021. The call for proposals is open for imaging projects only.

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  • South Africa ratifies SKA Observatory Convention

    Pretoria, South Africa, 1 June 2020 – South Africa, the future home of the SKA’s mid-frequency telescope, has ratified the Convention Establishing the SKA Observatory after the South African Parliament approved the Convention and Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, signed the Instrument of Ratification.

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  • South Africa’s MeerKAT solves mystery of ‘X-galaxies’

    A team of astronomers from South Africa and the US have used the MeerKAT telescope to solve a longstanding puzzle in ‘X’-shaped radio galaxies.

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  • Astronomers stumble upon unexpected features in a distant galaxy using MeerKAT data

    An international team of astronomers has uncovered unusual features in the radio galaxy ESO 137-006 using MeerKAT data.

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  • National Ventilator Project

    The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has mandated the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) to manage the national effort required for the local design, development, production and procurement of respiratory ventilators to support the government’s response to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

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  • South African Radio Astronomical Observatory (SARAO) Stakeholder Communiqué regarding COVID-19

    South Africa is currently under a COVID-19 lockdown for a period of 21 days until midnight on 16 April 2020. The lockdown involves significant restrictions of movement.

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  • Postponement of MEERKAT Site Open Day, 25 MARCH 2020

    After careful consideration, the management of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) has decided to postpone the forthcoming MeerKAT Open Day scheduled for 25 March 2020 until further notice.

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  • Astronomers are riding the heatwave: tracing the energy from an accretion burst

    For the first time ever astronomers have detected the radiation stimulated by a “heat wave” of intense thermal energy from a massive new-born star, or so-called protostar.

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  • South Africa’s MeerKAT peers deep into the Universe

    First radio image of distant Milky Way-like galaxies reveals star formation history of the Universe

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  • MeerKAT and SALT combine to solve mystery stellar event

    Scientists using the MeerKAT radio telescope and the Southern African Large Telescope have combined forces for the first time to discover and identify a unique and previously-unseen flare of radio emission from a binary star in our Galaxy.

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  • SARAO upskilling Africa’s bright young minds in big data

    The 2019 Big Data Africa School was hosted by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), from 6 to 16 October 2019, at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town.

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  • South Africa’s HIRAX telescope driving industry engagements

    The Hydrogen and Real-time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX), led out of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), has deployed two new prototype telescope dish designs, one aluminium and the other fibreglass, at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) Hartebeesthoek in Gauteng.

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  • South Africa’s MeerKAT discovers giant radio bubbles at centre of Milky Way

    An international team of astronomers using the MeerKAT telescope has discovered enormous balloon-like structures that tower hundreds of light-years above and below the centre of our galaxy.

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  • South Africa’s MeerKAT discovers missing gas in distant galaxy

    Hydrogen gas (represented by green blobs) detected with SARAO’s MeerKAT radio telescope within and around the galaxy NGC 1316, visible at the centre of the image. The two hydrogen tails newly discovered with MeerKAT are visible in the upper and lower parts of the image (the curved arcs are added to guide the eye). Additional hydrogen clouds near NGC 1316 are also visible. The visible light image in the background is from the Fornax Deep Survey – a Dutch-Italian collaboration led by the University of Groningen and INAF – Naples – and was obtained with the VST telescope at the European Southern Observatory. (Adapted from results presented in Serra et al. 2019.)

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  • South African-led Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) Consortium completes planning work for SKA

    The international engineering consortium tasked with planning the Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) of the SKA Radio Telescope has formally completed its work, another crucial step towards the construction of the world’s largest radio telescope.

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  • SKA Consortium completes design of Science Data Processor

    International consortium of computing specialists complete the engineering design work of the Science Data Processor for the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope.

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  • Vibrant young South African community poised to use MeerKAT telescope

    South African Radio Astronomy Observatory announces selection of 38 South African-led projects that will use the MeerKAT radio telescope.

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  • NRF/SARAO Congratulates Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Consortium on First Image of Black Hole.

    The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) congratulates the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Consortium on capturing the first image of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of the distant galaxy Messier 87.

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  • Another milestone towards the construction of the SKA Radio Telescope in South Africa

    The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has welcomed the adoption of the Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) for phase one of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in South Africa.

    On Friday, 22 March 2019 the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, gazetted the adoption of the Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) for the Square Kilometre Array Phase 1 Mid-Frequency Array (SKA1_MID) in South Africa.

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  • Founding members sign SKA Observatory Treaty

    South Africa joins countries in signing treaty on the establishment of the SKAO as an intergovernmental legal entity

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The SKA will be the largest radio telescope ever built and will produce science that changes our understanding of the universe. The SKA will be collocated in Australia and in Africa. In Africa the SKA will be built in South Africa and eight other African Countries. SKA South Africa (SKA SA) is responsible for the construction of the SKA in South Africa.

MeerKAT telescope call for observing proposals

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) announces an opportunity to apply for observing time on the MeerKAT telescope.

A minimum of 1,000 hours of telescope time will be awarded through this call, with all approved projects to be scheduled by no later than the end of 2021. The call for proposals is open for imaging projects only.

South Africa ratifies SKA Observatory Convention

Pretoria, South Africa, 1 June 2020 – South Africa, the future home of the SKA’s mid-frequency telescope, has ratified the Convention Establishing the SKA Observatory after the South African Parliament approved the Convention and Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, signed the Instrument of Ratification.

South Africa’s MeerKAT solves mystery of ‘X-galaxies’

A team of astronomers from South Africa and the US have used the MeerKAT telescope to solve a longstanding puzzle in ‘X’-shaped radio galaxies. Many galaxies far more active than the Milky Way have enormous twin jets of radio waves extending far into intergalactic space. Normally these go in opposite directions, coming from a massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. However, a few are more complicated and appear to have four jets forming an ‘X’ on the sky.

Astronomers stumble upon unexpected features in a distant galaxy using MeerKAT data

An international team of astronomers has uncovered unusual features in the radio galaxy ESO 137-006 using MeerKAT data. Launched in 2018, the South African MeerKAT radio telescope is a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which aims to answer fundamental astrophysical questions about the nature of objects in the Universe.

Covid-19

National Ventilator Project

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has mandated the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) to manage the national effort required for the local design, development, production and procurement of respiratory ventilators to support the government’s response to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.