Space Physics

Susan Ilani Loubser

Prof Loubser’s research focuses on the formation and evolution of massive elliptical galaxies, with emphasis on the dominant galaxies in galaxy groups and clusters.

Loubser's leading edge observational studies, using telescopes such as the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the Gemini telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, led to her being awarded the 2017 Henri Chrétien Award for observational astronomy by the American Astronomical Society, and the 2018 South African Women in Science Award for Distinguished Young Scientist: Astronomy.

Christo Venter

I joined the Centre for Space Research of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus in 2002 as a graduate student. This Centre is widely recognized for its excellent research on Heliospheric Physics, Cosmic-ray Modulation, and Gamma-ray Astronomy. The latter subgroup of which I became a member in 2002 represent the main South African contribution to the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) Collaboration, a world class very-high-energy Gamma-ray telescope situated in Namibia.

Markus Böttcher

Markus Böttcher studies the physics of astronomical objects which emit high-energy (X-ray and gamma-ray) radiation. These include black holes in our Galaxy an in the centers of other galaxies, called active galactic nuclei; gamma-ray bursts, which are the violent explosions of very massive stars at the end of their lives.

His group is very actively involved in the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) near Windhoek, Namibia, which is the world’s most sensitive gamma-ray observatory.