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Ticking stellar time bomb identified: Astronomers at UCT find prime suspect for a Type Ia supernova

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope and its ability to obtain images as sharp as if taken from space, astronomers have made the first time-lapse movie of a rather unusual shell ejected by a “vampire star”, which in November 2000 underwent an outburst after gulping down part of its companion’s matter. This enabled astronomers to determine the distance and intrinsic brightness of the outbursting object.

Trip to Sutherland

On the invitation of Prof Phil Charles (Director SAAO, and Honorary Professor UCT), the VC Dr Max Price, the DVC of Research Prof Danie Visser and his wife Anita Visser, Prof Renee Kraan-Korteweg (HOD Astronomy, UCT) and her husband Peter Kraan, Prof Patricia Whitelock (SAAO/UCT) and her husband Dr John Menzies (SAAO) visited the SAAO observatory site in Sutherland on the weekend of 22/23 August.

Pictures from the trip.

Undergraduate Major in Astrophysics at UCT

Starting in 2006, the Department of Astronomy at UCT will offer the undergraduate `Specialisation in Astrophysics'. See our courses page for full details. From 2010 onwards the 'specialisations' have been replaced with 'majors'.

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