SARAO Public Open Days

Registrations for the SARAO Open Day on Saturday, 10 August 2024 and Sunday, 11 August 2024 are now open.

Registrations for the Public Site Visit to be held on Wednesday, 5 July 2023, are now closed.

We thank everyone who has registered and look forward to hosting you.

Please keep an eye on this page for information about future dates for Public Site Visits.

For enquiries, email events@ska.ac.za

Open Day for the MeerKAT radio telescope and SKA site visit is set for Saturday, 10 August 2024, and Sunday, 11 August 2024

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) will host the second Open Day for 2024, aimed at allowing members of the public to visit the MeerKAT radio telescope and other instruments that are hosted on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site.

The MeerKAT radio telescope, an array of 64 interlinked receptors, is situated 90 km outside the Northern Cape Town of Carnarvon. The MeerKAT is a precursor to the SKA telescope and will be integrated into the mid-frequency component of SKA Phase 1.

Details of the Open Day are as follows: 

  • Date: Saturday, 10 August 2024 and Sunday, 11 August 2024

No public visits can be accommodated outside of the date above. New dates will be announced in due course.

  • Meeting point: Sassa Hall, Carnarvon (Corner of Burger Street and Lang Street) – GPS Coordinates -30.958479, 22.127298
  • Duration of Tour: 07h00-16h00
  • Total capacity: 100 people (Maximum 5 people per group)
  • Price: R350 per person (includes return transport to site, welcome refreshments)

Please read and accept our Public Open Day Visitor Information and Terms and Conditions to proceed to our online booking form.

Please email events@sarao.ac.za if you have any queries regarding bookings.

General Information

  • All visitors to the NRF/SARAO Losberg Site (“the site”) visit these premises at their own risk.
  • All visitors are required to submit signed indemnity forms no less than 5 days before a Public Open Day. Bookings will not be confirmed until a signed indemnity form for each individual in a group has been received by SARAO. Instructions on how to submit a signed online indemnity form will be provided once you have completed and submitted the online booking form.
  • Transport, accommodation, and subsistence costs to/from Carnarvon are for the visitor’s own account.
  • Visitors are required to the meeting point in Carnarvon (Sassa Hall) at 08h00 on the day of the Public Open Day for registration.
  • SARAO will provide return transport for all visitors from the meeting point.
  • Transport to the site will depart at exactly 08h00 from the meeting point.
  • Visitors may NOT drive their own vehicles to the site.
  • Due to the risk of radio frequency interference (RFI), visitors may NOT bring mobile telephones or digital cameras to the site. Visitors should lock these away in a vehicle before departure for the site.
  • Only participants who have paid their fees may accompany the tour. No payments will be accepted on the day.
  • Visitors are required to bring their own refreshments and a packed lunch, including cold drinks.
  • STRICTLY NO ALCOHOL PERMITTED.
  • In the hot summer months, visitors are recommended to bring at least 1.5 litres of drinking water each. Please note that the water on the site is not drinkable.
  • There are no shops or facilities on the site where visitors can buy food or drinks.
  • There are no microwave ovens, cooking or braai facilities on the site.
  • Visitors are required to be completely self-sufficient with respect to food and drink during the Public Open Day.
  • Visitors should wear casual, comfortable clothing.
  • A hat and closed walking shoes are the minimum health and safety requirement when visiting the site. Visitors without these items will not be allowed to depart on the transport from the meeting point to the site.
  • Visitors are advised to bring sunglasses, sunblock, lip balm, as well as a light jacket.
  • Please consult your preferred weather forecast website or app for the predicted weather before departing from your accommodation to the meeting point. Summers in the Bo-Karoo can be very hot with berg winds, while winters can be very cold and windy.

Contact

SARAO Communications Unit

Email: events@ska.ac.za