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New Honorary Professor

The Department of Astronomy is pleased announce that Prof Ted Williams, the incoming Director of the SAAO, has accepted an appointment as Honorary Professor as of the 1st of January, the start of his tenure as Director of the SAAO.

Astronomy Field Trips 2012

Over the September break, the second and third year astrophysics courses at UCT spend some time on a field trip at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland. The third years spent four nights observing the spectra of stars and galaxies, while the second years had a whirlwind one day tour of the small telescopes, SALT and the beautiful Sutherland night skies.

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.


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