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…

Kaapse sterrekundige help gravitasiekolke vind

Sterrekundiges het drie supermassiewe gravitasiekolke binne-in een sterrestelsel 4 miljard ligjaar weg ontdek. Dit is uniek omdat daar gewoonlik net een gravitasiekolk in ’n sterrestelsel is. Dié observasie is gemaak onder leiding van dr. Roger Deane van die Universiteit van Kaapstad en SKA-postdoktorale beurshouer. Die werk het pas in die vaktydskrif Nature verskyn. Twee van die…

South Africa to help confirm ground-breaking ‘cosmic inflation’ finding

Episode 10 of The Science Inside examined South Africa’s leading role in space science. We went back in time, to just after the big bang, and looked at how our scientists and their high-tech instruments help solve the mysteries of the universe.

Star-gazers count their lucky stars

A researcher from the University of the Western Cape is part of an international team that has spotted two galaxies merging into one, a rare process that took place all of 11 billion years ago. Their discovery could shed light on how galaxies form, and rewrite a few textbooks at the same time. Some 11…

Bacon makes the dish

A satellite dish, that is. “You can appreciate the difference between ‘involved’ and ‘committed’ every time you have eggs & bacon for breakfast: the chicken is involved, while the pig is committed,” says Professor Oleg Smirnov. “I am not involved in the SKA, I am committed.” Smirnov holds the SKA Research Chair in Radio Astronomy Techniques…

The sounds of time

Humans have always had stars in their eyes. Since we began recording history, and probably before that, the stars and planets have been shaping our lives on earth. Literally, in the sense that we are but stardust held together by gravity and chemical attractions; mythically in the sense of star signs and astrology; and scientifically.…