Karoo in rep en roer met bou van MeerKAT-skottelantennas

Die Karoo-landskap 85 km van Carnarvon sal oor twee jaar besaai wees met 64 skottelantennas wat elk byna 20 m hoog staan. Alles is reeds bestel om elke groot en klein deeltjie van elk van dié skottelantennas te bou. “Oral in werkwinkels wat deel is van die projek kan jy instap en hulle is besig met MeerKAT,”…

Blind astronomer turns data into beautiful sounds – Scifest 2015

It’s impossible to describe the incandescent beauty of the Milky Way on a clear night, especially if you can get away from the city lights. Nor can you deny the role that stargazing has played in the arts and culture and history of humanity. How terrible, then, must it be to be robbed of this…

Mitologie en wetenskap vat hande

Die kunsprojek waarin inheemse mitologie en verhale oor die kosmos hande vat met die wetenskap, open vandeesweek in die Moederstad. Die internasionale Square Kilometre Array-projek (SKA) het dié uitstalling op die been gebring en Suid-Afrikaanse en Australiese kunstenaars gevra om met Shared Sky spesifiek die heelal uit te beeld soos inheemse bevolkings dit sien. Dit…

World reaches for the stars in SA

Scientists say the Northern Cape is the perfect place for radio astronomy, with its low rainfall and clear skies making it a “radio quiet” site. Dust rises from the tyres of a brimming trailer as a bakkie trundles slowly over dry farm roads in the Northern Cape. Antennae and receivers are strapped into the trailer…

What price a peek at the galaxy?

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) scientists and engineers are at this moment trying to predict what the world will look like in 2020. More than 350 of them, representing 18 nations and hailing from nearly 100 institutions, universities and industry, are trying to determine what will be possible technologically and how much it will cost as they design…

Bernie Fanaroff searched the stars, but this reticent man remains unknown

By the sounds of it, South Africa stumbled into bidding to host the largest radio telescope in the world. Everyone will tell you that the SKA bid only started to take shape when Fanaroff joined the project office. “The big watershed, when we got seriously involved in the site bid … was when Bernie was brought…

Science Voices: Astrophysical jets in distant galaxy could teach us physics

In the dark and cold chasm of space, huge jets of charged particles erupt around a super-massive black hole, writes Arvind Ramessur, a MSc candidate at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Black holes, whose gravitational pull is so strong that not even light can escape, are usually found in the hearts of galaxies, known as active…