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Professor Michael Feast: 1926-2019
Wed, 03 Apr 2019 - 17:45

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Michael Feast. He died peacefully early on the morning of 1 April 2019, aged 92.

Michael was an honorary professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town from 1992, and he was awarded a DSc (honoris causa) by UCT in 1993. He was a former director of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), a founding member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, a member of the International Astronomical Union, an honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP). Above all, he was a source of inspiration to all of us, and a dear friend and colleague to staff and students alike.

See also: Obituary Professor Michael Feast: 1926-2019


Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Astronomy (UCT/SAAO)
Tue, 26 Mar 2019 - 06:45

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 at Lecturer or Senior Lecturer level. Applications are sought from scientists whose research interests lie in stellar astrophysics or extragalactic astronomy, and who could make intensive use of the telescopes at SAAO, including SALT and MeerLICHT.


SARCHI Chair Positions
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 - 10:45

Within the context of the NRF Funded SARChI project: “Gravitational Wave Counterparts and Fast Transients” the following positions are available. All positions will be based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), in close collaboration with SAAO, IDIA/Ilifu and SARAO. Candidates will be requested to spend extended periods of time abroad, specifically in the Netherlands and Chile.

Tue, 05 Feb 2019 - 22:00


1. Masters (MSc, 1 year): Exploring extreme star-forming galaxies for SALT in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

2. Masters (MSc,1 year): HI masses of extreme star-forming galaxies in HI deep-fields

3. Ph.D. (3 years): Vertical structure evolution of spiral galaxy disks using optical and near-infrared integral field spectroscopy INSTRUMENT Sub-GROUP:

4. Masters (1 year) (MSc or MTech): Design and development of fibre-optic test facility

5. Ph.D. (3 years): Design, development and commissioning of a fibre slitmask integral-field unit for SALT prime-focus spectrograph

For more details please view the entire advert here
SARChI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Planetarium Research Liaison
Thu, 17 Jan 2019 - 10:30

Through the National Research Foundation Research Chair Initiative, University of Cape Town (UCT) is offering a Postdoctoral Fellowship that is focused on using the recently upgraded Iziko Planetarium for research in astrophysics and related fields that require immersive visualisation. The candidate will work and liaise closely with the Iziko Planetarium University Consortium, led by Professor Thomas Jarrett (UCT), comprised of the University of Western Cape (UWC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), and UCT in partnership with Iziko Museums, the NRF and DST. The mandate of the Consortium is to manage and drive the research side, exploit the facility for carrying out research in the physical, biological and medical field sciences, as well as engage with other interested groups (e.g., humanities and arts) associated with the universities.

Upgrading the UCT Astronomy Tony Fairall Teaching Observatory
Tue, 01 Jan 2019 - 06:15

In January 2019, the Astronomy department will upgrade the domes of the Tony Fairall Teaching Observatory on UCT upper campus. This will include the replacement of the old domes on the roof of the RW James building, and the installation of a new Celestron 14-inch telescope in the west dome, dedicated for optical spectroscopy.


MeerKAT Science Busy Day at UCT Astronomy
Fri, 23 Nov 2018 - 05:45

On Tuesday 20 November, UCT Astronomy hosted a MeerKAT Science Busy Day where researchers from the Astronomy department shared and discussed early science results from the MeerKAT radio telescope array.

SARAO - UCT Department of Astronomy Undergraduate and Honours bursaries for 2019
Fri, 09 Nov 2018 - 12:30

We are happy to announce the availability of 5 undergraduate and Honours bursaries for 2019 funded by SARAO to study Astronomy/Astrophysics at UCT. 

New SARChI professor at UCT Astronomy
Thu, 08 Nov 2018 - 11:30

Prof Paul Groot started his new job as the SALT South African Research Chair in Fast Transients and Gravitational Wave Counterparts on 1 November 2018. This is a joint position with the SAAO, hosted at UCT, whilst on secondment from Radboud University Nijmegen.

UCT Astronomy tops ranking in Africa
Tue, 16 Oct 2018 - 06:00

The Astronomy Department at UCT is ranked number 1 in Africa and number 149 in the world in 2017/2018 according to the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) metric in Astronomy and Astrophysics, based on five years of data (2012-2016).

Prof Kraan-Korteweg wins commemorative DST MeerKAT award
Thu, 30 Aug 2018 - 14:00

Prof Renee Kraan-Korteweg was awarded the commemorative MeerKAT award at the DST South African Women in Science Award gala evening on 23 August 2018, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to building South Africa’s scientific and research knowledge base in advancing the field of astronomy.

Inauguration of MeerLICHT
Fri, 25 May 2018 - 10:00

On Friday 25 May 2018, Africa Day 2018, the new optical robotic 0.65-m telescope MeerLICHT was inaugurated in Sutherland by the Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara. UCT Astronomy is a founding member of the MeerLICHT consortium.