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Astronomy department hosts workshop on Radio Transients with MeerKAT

The Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravity Centre ( is organising the first ThunderKAT workshop on Radio Transients with MeerKAT. ThunderKAT is one of the ten approved Large Survey Projects on MeerKAT, South Africa's SKA-precursor telescope. This workshop will bring experts from around the world to Cape Town to discuss survey preparations and science with KAT-7. Details of the workshop and copies of all the presentations can be found at

UCT radio astronomy scores large chunk of MeerKAT observation time

Gravitas: Dr Benne Holwerda, Prof Erwin de Blok, Dr Sarah Blyth, Prof Patrick Woudt and Dr Kurt van der Heyden.

Four UCT Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravity Research Centre (ACGC) Key Science proposals are among ten successful bids for the 43 000 hours of observing time allocated to radio astronomers from Africa and around the world on South Africa's MeerKAT telescope.

Astrophysics class medalists of 2009

The Astronomy Department congratulates the Astrophysics class medalists of 2009 (from left to right):

Andrew Ward (AST3002F), Mpati Ramatsoku (AST3003S), Sandi Smart (AST2002S), Sasha Moola (AST1000F), Jaco Conradie (AST4007W; NASSP Honours)

Pictures from Mont Fleur ACGC Research Workshop

Astronomy Department's Distinguished Emeritus Professor Brian Warner receives Honorary Degree from the University of Cape Town

SARChI chair on `Extragalactic Multi-wavelength Astronomy' awarded to UCT's Astronomy Department

Another A-rated researcher at UCT's Astronomy Department

Hon. Prof. M.W. FeastThe 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.

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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