The Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town (established in 1972) is a research-intensive department in the Faculty of Science at the forefront of the scientific exploration of the evolving and transient Universe, through scientific leadership in large international projects involving world-class facilities such as SALT, MeerKAT and a wide range of ground- and space-based telescopes. Innovative new windows on the Universe are opened through new concepts (MeerLICHT) and a clear vision for research into data intensive astrophysics.
In this exploration of the frontiers of the Universe, the Astronomy Department has a clear and unambiguous role to prepare the next generation of South African and African scientists for scientific leadership on the Square Kilometre Array. This is achieved through involving young graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in cutting-edge science projects using the world’s most powerful astronomical facilities such as SALT, KAT-7, MeerKAT, VLA, GMRT, ASKAP, and ultimately, the African VLBI Network and the Square Kilometre Array, from conceptualising research projects to high-impact publications.
We currently host one NRF SARChI chair (Prof Jarrett), one SKA-SA SARChI chair (Prof Carignan) and one joint UCT/UWC/SKA chair (Prof Taylor). We have four NRF A-rated researchers (Profs Feast, Taylor, Warner, Whitelock), four NRF B-rated researchers (Profs Carignan, Jarrett, Kraan-Korteweg, Woudt), two NRF C-rated researchers (Drs Blyth and van der Heyden) and two NRF Y-rated researchers (Drs McBride and Schurch).