• MeerKAT Radio Telescope Call for Observing Proposals

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

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  • ICALEPCS 2023: early bird registrations and abstract submission now open

    The 19th biennial International Conference on Accelerator and Large Experimental Physics Control Systems (ICALEPCS) 2023 will be held from Monday, 9 October to Friday, 13 October 2023.

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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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  • DigiSkills Africa workshop enhances big data and techno skills of young graduates

    More than 40 participants from 8 African countries attended the in-person part of the Digital Transformation Programme – Technological Skills for Industry 4.0 in Cape Town, South Africa from 7 to 11 November 2022. A further 20 participants attended the workshop online.

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  • MeerKAT measures the "fuel reserves" of galaxies in the past

    A global team of astronomers, including many based in South Africa, have measured the fuel for star formation in galaxies as they were 4 billion years ago. The researchers made use of the MeerKAT radio telescope to observe neutral hydrogen gas, which is the most abundant element in the universe, and the material from which stars are formed. Observation of distant galaxies was one of the prime design drivers for MeerKAT, which is built and run by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).

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  • NRF appoints Pontsho Maruping as Managing Director of SARAO

    The National Research Foundation (NRF) has appointed Ms Pontsho Maruping as the new Managing Director of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), with effect from 1 October 2022.

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  • Equipping graduates in Africa with skills for a new technological era

    The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) has embarked on a unique partnership with Ireland-based engineering services and innovative solutions provider InnoGlobal, to bring a short course on Digital Transformation applicable to advanced manufacturing sectors to the African continent.

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  • Strange neutron star spinning every 76 seconds is discovered in stellar graveyard

    An international team of scientists have discovered a strange radio emitting neutron star, which rotates extremely slowly, completing one rotation every 76 seconds.

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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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  • 2022 Africa Data Science Intensive Programme projects find sustainable solutions to real world problems

    An exciting project involving a plant disease classifier and detection tool was the winning presentation at the third Africa Data Science Intensive (DSI) Programme which took place from 9 to 13 May 2022 in Paarl.

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  • Megamaser “Nkalakatha” discovered by astronomers using MeerKAT

    Using the MeerKAT radio telescope, a team of researchers from the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and the South African Astronomical Observatory together with colleagues from 12 other countries have discovered a powerful megamaser – a radio-wavelength laser indicative of colliding galaxies. This is the most distant such megamaser found so far.

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  • Fast and furious: A shock wave that extends for 6.5 million light years

    An international team of astronomers made the most detailed images of the largest cosmic shock wave visible from earth. These gigantic shock waves are much larger than our entire galaxy and they form when clusters of galaxies collide in what are the most energetic events after the Big Bang.

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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. 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.

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

The Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) 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

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Come build the world’s largest radio telescope with us #workatSARAO

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by logging to https://ess.nrf.ac.za/Account/Recruitment and apply online. Applications should be accompanied by a letter...
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Where are the MeerKAT telescopes located in South Africa?

The South African MeerKAT radio telescope, is situated 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon. Click here...
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Request for expressions of interest to participate in a BBBEE equity opportunity

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) hereby invites potential BBBEE partners to express interest in collaborating with SARAO in...
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