Media releases

Media releases and statements for 2016

HERA telescope in the Karoo gets $9.5 million funding injection to view the Universe’s first stars and galaxies
14 September 2016 – The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (HERA) brings more international funding to South Africa with a $9.5 million investment to expand its capabilities, as announced today by the US National Science Foundation.

SKA South Africa sponsored student heads to Princeton for PhD
25 August 2016 – Ms Heather Prince, an astronomy postgraduate student in the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit (ACRU) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has been accepted to study a PhD degree in Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. She joins the prestigious institution’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences in September this year. SKA South Africa provided Prince with a grant to complete her Masters degree in astrophysics, which she received from UKZN in April this year.

UKZN PhD astronomer finds a new radio halo
21 July 2016 – Dr Kenda Knowles, a Claude Leon postdoctoral researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, has found evidence for a new radio halo in a low-mass galaxy cluster.

MeerKAT joins the ranks of the world’s great scientific instruments through its First Light image
16 July 2016 – The MeerKAT First Light image of the sky shows unambiguously that MeerKAT is already the best radio telescope of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Array Release 1 (AR1) provides 16 of an eventual 64 dishes integrated into a working telescope array. It is the first significant scientific milestone achieved by MeerKAT, the radio telescope under construction in the Karoo that will eventually be integrated into the Square Kilometre Array.

HERA joins family of SKA precursors
5 July 2016 – The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (HERA) was granted the status of SKA precursor telescope by SKA Organisation, joining the three other SKA precursor telescopes located on the SKA sites in Australia and South Africa.

Young SKA SA science process developer attends NASA summer workshop on asteroid defence
1 July 2016 – A young SKA SA science process developer, Olorato Mosiane, is currently attending the NASA summer workshop on asteroid defence. He is one of only three selected from South Africa.

As astronomers gather to discuss scientific potential of MeerKAT, the telescope being built in the Karoo produces its first remarkable image
24 May 2016 – More than 100 researchers and students from South Africa and around the world are meeting this week to share plans to use the MeerKAT radio telescope. This week, an observation using just 4 of the eventual 64 dishes has produced a remarkable view of the sky, revealing never before seen radio galaxies in the distant universe.

SKA SA, NMC Civils and Absa collaborate in a new economic endeavour for Karoo contractors
10 May 2016 – SKA SA and NMC Civils have partnered with Absa in an enterprise and supply chain initiative to develop and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Northern Cape through the SKA programme.

Former Columbia University academic joins SKA South Africa as Chief Scientist
26 February 2016 – Dr Fernando Camilo, former senior research scientist at Columbia University in New York, joins the Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) as Chief Scientist on 1 April 2016.

SKA SA-led Infra SA Consortium receives more than R40 million in European Union Horizon 2020 funding
23 February 2016 – A Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA)-led consortium has received €2,251,920 (more than R40,3 million) from the European Union Horizon 2020 Funding to undertake the detailed design of the SKA1_MID infrastructure and power elements in South Africa.

SKA SA staff members and management officially welcomes Dr Rob Adam as Project Director
26 January 2016 – Dr Rob Adam, the new SKA SA Project Director, was officially welcomed to the organisation. He took over the reigns on 1 January 2016.

SKA SA sponsors 11th CASPER workshop hosted by the University of Cape Town
22 January 2016 – The Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) sponsors the 11th Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing Electronics Research (CASPER) workshop from Monday, 25 to Friday, 29 January 2016 by the University of Cape Town.

SKA SA gives full bursaries to five Carnarvon matric learners who obtained exemption to further their studies
8 January 2016 – The Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) will give full bursaries for undergraduate studies to five matric learners from Carnarvon High School who obtained matric exemptions in the 2015 National Senior Certificate examination.