• MeerKAT+: the MeerKAT Extension

    The handover of the first dish of the MeerKAT extension signals an important milestone towards the construction of the Square Kilometre Array

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  • Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project makes astronomy training accessible to students based at historically disadvantaged institutions in South Africa

    Nineteen students from Kenya and South Africa have been participating in a Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy training initiative, which is being run in partnership with the Kenya Optical Telescope Initiative.

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  • The SKA-MPIfR Telescope in South Africa is ready for science operations

    SARAO provided specialised personnel and resources to identify and rectify sources of radio frequency interference (RFI) as required to ensure that the antenna was compliant with SARAO and SKAO RFI requirements.

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  • Low-cost radio telescope brings new research and training opportunities for African scientists

    Scientists and engineers from nine African countries, including South Africa, have converged at Rhodes University in Makhanda to share knowledge in building a low-cost radio telescope called the ‘Transient Array Radio Telescope’ or TART.

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  • South African Telescopes contribute to discovery of a new white dwarf pulsar

    The discovery of a rare type of spinning white dwarf star in a binary star system – only the second one known – provides a new understanding of the role of magnetic fields in stellar evolution.

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  • SARAO hosts 4th Big Data Africa School drawing synergies between radio astronomy and biomedical imaging

    This year’s school hosted 25 participants in Cape Town from 5 to 11 March 2023, with participants hailing from diverse regions in Africa.

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  • MeerKAT discovers a distant galaxy has very large hydrogen atoms

    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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  • MeerKAT Grand Tour Data Science workshop held at Rhodes University

    Funded by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (SARAO) Human Capital Development Programme, the workshop was held in collaboration with the Breakthrough Listen initiative, the MeerTime collaboration, the TRAPUM collaboration, the Transient Array Radio Telescope consortium and the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT) in the Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University.

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  • MeerKAT telescope team honoured with prestigious Royal Astronomical Society Award

    The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) has awarded its 2023 Group Achievement Award to the MeerKAT team.

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  • SKA Observatory celebrates start of telescope construction in Australia and South Africa

    In ceremonies at both sites in Australia and South Africa, the SKA Observatory celebrated the start of construction of its world-leading radio telescopes and announced €300 million worth of construction contracts.

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  • Extraterrestrial signal search is underway using the southern hemisphere’s biggest radio telescope

    Breakthrough Listen has begun observations of a million nearby stars with the MeerKAT Array

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  • Local impact study of HERA telescope shows direct benefits of radio astronomy infrastructure in South Africa’s Northern Cape province

    The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) has undertaken a local impact study of South Africa’s hosting of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA). The HERA telescope is an array of 350 antennas situated next to the MeerKAT radio telescope on the site that hosts the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in the Northern Cape province.

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  • New MeerKAT radio image reveals complex heart of the Milky Way

    The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) has released today a new MeerKAT telescope image of the centre of our Galaxy, showing radio emission from the region with unprecedented clarity and depth. The international team behind the work is publishing the initial science highlights from this image in The Astrophysical Journal. The article is accompanied by a public release of the data to the worldwide astronomical community for their further scientific exploration.

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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. In Africa the SKA will be built in South Africa and eight other African Countries. The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), a facility of the National Research Foundation, is responsible for managing all radio astronomy initiatives and facilities in South Africa, including the MeerKAT Radio Telescope in the Karoo, the Geodesy and VLBI activities at the Hartebeesthoek site.

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Geodesy Programme

Geodesy Programme

Geodesy, also called geodetics, a branch of earth sciences, is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement and representation...
Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array radio telescope (HERA)

Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array radio telescope (HERA)

To solve the mystery of how we came to be where we are, astronomers must look back in time to...
Bursts from Space: Citizen Science Project

Bursts from Space: Citizen Science Project

Looking at the sky with radio telescopes provides a unique insight into a range of exciting and exotic phenomena. From...

The South African MeerKAT radio telescope, situated 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, is a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope and will be integrated into the mid-frequency component of SKA Phase 1. The MeerKAT telescope is an array of 64 interlinked receptors (a receptor is the complete antenna structure, with the main reflector, sub-reflector and all receivers, digitisers and other electronics installed). Read More

SARAO Hartebeesthoek Site is located west of Johannesburg, South Africa. built in 1961 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States of America. An 85 foot = 26 metre diameter antenna was used to get data from, and send commands to, many unmanned US space probes going beyond Earth orbit. Read More

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