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Chair of Astronomy, Prof Renée Kraan-Korteweg, elected Vice-President of the International Astronomical Union


Prof Kraan-Korteweg, the chair of Astronomy and head of the Astronomy department at UCT, has been elected Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) at the 2012 General Assembly of the IAU in Beijing.

New Honorary Professor

Hon. Prof. W.J.G de Blok
The Department is pleased to announce that Prof Erwin de Blok, former SARChI Chair holder (now at ASTRON, NL) will take up the position of Honorary Professor at the Astronomy Department of the University of Cape Town as of 1 August 2012.

SAIP 2012

The Department congratulates Prof Michael Feast and Prof George Ellis for having been elected fellows of the SAIP 2012 in Pretoria, and Mpati Ramatsoku for winning the best MSc oral presentation in the Astrophysics Division of the SAIP. A/Prof Patrick Woudt has been elected as a new member on the SAIP council representing Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Astronomy Department congratulates the SA SKA project on the outcome of the SKA site bid.

The Astronomy Department congratulates with much delight the whole of the SA SKA project team - and Bernie Fanaroff, Justin Jonas, and Kim de Boer in particular - with the very positive outcome of the SKA site bid decision. An incredible feat and a clear acknowledgement of the success of the huge, gigantic steps the team has taken in just the last decade to bring the project so far in such a short time, and putting us on top of the world, if not the Universe.

Dr Tom Jarrett joins the Astronomy Department at UCT

The Astronomy Department is pleased to announce the imminent arrival of Dr. Tom Jarrett who will take over the SARChI Chair in Astrophysics and Space Science vacated by Prof de Blok.

Collaboration between the University of Cape Town, the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and ASTRON

The Department of Astronomy of the University of Cape Town (South Africa), ASTRON and the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) have decided to set up a collaboration of graduate education and research. The collaboration will consist of scientific projects centered around joint PhD positions, and visits of PhD students, postdocs and staff members from South Africa to the Netherlands and vice versa.

Extra-galactic milestone for South Africa’s KAT 7 telescope - First atomic hydrogen spectral line images of a nearby galaxy

South Africa’s KAT 7 telescope, a seven dish array which is a precursor to the much larger MeerKAT telescope in the Karoo and to the Square Kilometre Array, has reached another major milestone by observing the radio emission from the neutral hydrogen gas (HI) in a nearby galaxy. Hydrogen gas emits radio emission in a spectral line at a very specific frequency of 1421MHz.

Tri Partite Agreement Signed by UCT, the Université de Montréal & the Université de Ouagadougou

The University of Cape Town, South Africa, the Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and the Université de Montréal, Canada, wishing to develop academic exchange and cooperation in education and research have just signed a memorandum of understanding. The agreement signed last September in Montréal and last October in Burkina Faso was signed by UCT vice-chancelor Dr Max Price on February 2nd.

Outreach in Mozambique

SKA Fellow, Dr Valério Ribeiro of the Department of Astronomy at UCT, participated in Astronomy training for 15 Geography and Physics secondary school teachers at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo City, Mozambique from 20-22 September 2011. The project was funded by the Finnish - Mozambican partnership programme for Science and Technology. Dr Ribeiro was joined by counterparts from South Africa, Mozambique, The Netherlands and Portugal.

Development of large EMCCD detectors

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). While the largest Frame Transfer (FT) EMCCD available at present has 1024x1024 pixels, this 24 months development project wants to develop 4096x4096 pixels chips. Since they are FT chips, the actual size will be 4096x 8192.

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