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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town (UCT) invites applications for a PhD position in astronomy. This position is funded through a PhD scholarship of the Faculty of Science at UCT. Funding is aligned to the SKA standard for PhD scholarships in South Africa. The deadline for applications is 26 February 2018, and we envisage a starting date of 1 July 2018
Through the National Research Foundation Research Chair Initiative, University of Cape Town is offering a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Extragalactic Astronomy. The successful applicant will work with Professor Thomas Jarrett, Research Chair in Astrophysics and Space Science, focusing on local-universe galaxies. The successful applicant will be joining a growing experimental and theoretical research group that exploits multi-wavelength (radio to UV) observations to study star formation and galaxy evolution, large-scale structures and cosmic flows. We are particularly interested in candidates with experience in extragalactic infrared space missions, notably Herschel, Spitzer and WISE, and working with the Herschel Extragalactic Legacy Project (HELP).
On 9 September 2011, Prof. Claude Carignan of UCT was at the company e2v in Chelmsford, UK for the kick-off meeting to start the development of large EMCCD detectors, in collaboration with the Montreal Laboratoire d’Astrophysique Expérimentale (Olivier Hernandez) and the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (Jean-Luc Gach).
The Astronomy Department is delighted that a second member of staff, Emeritus Prof Michael Feast, was awarded an A2 rating in the latest round of NRF ratings. This brings the number of A rated scientists in the Astronomy Department to two. Emeritus Prof. Brian Warner was awarded an A rating in the 2008 NRF call for rating applciations.
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.
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.