World renowned astronomers converge at Mafikeng Campus

Ronel Roscher -- Mon, 11/11/2013 - 11:25

World renowned astronomers converge at Mafikeng Campus

Prominent astronomers from various Universities across the globe such as the USA, UK and Poland are attending the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) board meeting at the Mafikeng Campus. The meeting will be from 11 to 15 November.

  The board meeting is hosted by the Astronomy Research Group in the Physics Department under the leadership of Prof Thebe Medupe from the Faculty of FAST.

Amongst the Dignitaries in attendance include, the National Research Foundation Chief Executives and Campus Management.

The SALT telescope is the single largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and is housed in Sutherland, a small Karoo town in the Western Cape.  It has been operational for several years. 

According to Prof Medupe, hosting of the board meeting is evidence that the research done by the Mafikeng Campus in this specific field of study is internationally recognised.

“Telescopes are time machines in addition to allowing us to see distant objects. For example, with the SALT telescope we can study the universe in its earliest time of formation, for instance the theory of the big bang.  It can also be used to search for other "solar" systems in the universe such as planets around other stars”: said Prof Medupe.

An open science day will afford other astronomers in South Africa the opportunity to present research done with the SALT telescope in the studying of stars, galaxies and the universe at large. The convergence of these astronomers on Mafikeng Campus is also to discuss the results of their investigations and the future of the telescope.