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Lecturer position open - joint UCT/SAAO position

The Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) have an opening for a joint position in observational astronomy. Applications are sought from scientists whose research interests lie in stellar astrophysics or time-domain astrophysics, and who could make intensive use of the telescopes at SAAO, including SALT and MeerLICHT.


International team discovers major supercluster of galaxies hidden by Milky Way

A team of South African and international collaborators uncovered a previously unknown, major supercluster in the constellation Vela. The Vela supercluster might have a significant influence on the motion of our Local Group of galaxies (which includes the Milky Way) and could help resolve some riddles of the observed flows of galaxies around us. The team, led by Prof Renée C Kraan-Korteweg (UCT), includes Dr Michelle Cluver (UWC), Dr Maciek Bilicki (Leiden, former UCT PDRF), SARChI Chair Prof Thomas Jarrett (UCT), next to colleagues from the RSSA (ANU) and the MPGE, Munich.

UCT astronomer part of international team that discovers a giant stellar void in the Milky Way Galaxy

A major revision is required in our understanding of the Milky Way Galaxy, according to an international team of astronomers led by Professor Noriyuki Matsunaga of the University of Tokyo. This is after a team of astronomers, which included Professor Michael Feast of the University of Cape Town, found that there was a huge region around the centre of our own Galaxy which was devoid of young stars.

61st Annual Conference of the South African Institute of Physics

UCT Astronomy and UCT Physics will host the 61st Annual Conference of the South African Institute of Physics, from 4-8 July 2016, in the Kramer Law Building on UCT Middle Campus.

Mercury Transit - 9 May 2016


Astronomers Pinpoint Echoes of Ancient Exploding Star on our Stellar Doorstep

1.	Colour image of Te 11 made from images showing light from Hydrogen and Nitrogen (red), Oxygen (green) and visual light (blue).

Breakthrough for astronomers from UCT and the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)

A team of astronomers has identified a rare star that exploded around 1,500 years ago. At the time, the star would have outshone all the stars of the Orion constellation, reaching a similar brightness to Jupiter in the night sky.

Second year field trip to Sutherland (2016)


At the start of April our second year astronomy students went to SAAO, Sutherland for their field trip.

Third Astronomy Department Open Day - 23 April 2016


On Saturday 23 April we hosted the first Department of Astronomy Open Day for 2016.

UCT Astronomy Department Open Day for Grade 10-12 School Learners

Date: Saturday 23 April 2016
Time: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Venue: Department of Astronomy, RW James Building, Upper Campus

We are inviting all Grade 10-12 learners in the Western Cape area, who are potentially interested in pursuing Astronomy as a career, to attend an Open Day in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town. At this Open Day, you will get an introduction to what the field of Astronomy involves and what astronomers actually do, as well as taking part in some astronomy activities with other interested learners!

SA astronomers help discover hidden galaxies behind Milky Way

09 February 2016

UCT Professor Renée Kraan-Korteweg and Dr Anja Schröder of SAAO among lead authors of breakthrough paper

Hi-res images and animations available from

An international team of scientists that includes a leading astronomy researcher from the University of Cape Town and one from the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) have helped to make a groundbreaking discovery by peering through the stars and dust of the Milky Way with a radio telescope to discover hidden galaxies beyond. Both are available for interview. The study involved researchers from Australia, South Africa, the USA and the Netherlands.


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