Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous explosions in the cosmos. These explosive events last several seconds and during that time they emit the same amount of gamma-rays as all the stars in the universe combined. Such extreme amounts of energy can only be released during catastrophic events like the death of a very massive star, or the merging of two compact stars, and are accompanied by an afterglow of light over a broad range of wavelengths (or equivalently energies), that fades with time.
Using the Southern African Large Telescope, UCT Astronomy's Prof Tom Jarrett and colleagues recently determined the very fast rotation speeds of 'super spirals', large massive spiral galaxies. Read all about this exciting research in the SAAO press release, or the article on Universe Today. This research was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Prof Jarrett is the NRF SARChI Chair in Astrophysics and Space Science.
The Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town has a vacancy for the position of Associate Professor / Professor in the field of Extragalactic Multi-wavelength Astronomy. Applications are particularly sought from scientists whose research is focused on radio continuum and/or HI observations of galaxies, and who could make extensive use of MeerKAT, the precursor to the mid-frequency component of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).