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International team discovers major supercluster of galaxies hidden by Milky Way

A team of South African and international collaborators uncovered a previously unknown, major supercluster in the constellation Vela. The Vela supercluster might have a significant influence on the motion of our Local Group of galaxies (which includes the Milky Way) and could help resolve some riddles of the observed flows of galaxies around us. The team, led by Prof Renée C Kraan-Korteweg (UCT), includes Dr Michelle Cluver (UWC), Dr Maciek Bilicki (Leiden, former UCT PDRF), SARChI Chair Prof Thomas Jarrett (UCT), next to colleagues from the RSSA (ANU) and the MPGE, Munich.

UCT astronomer part of international team that discovers a giant stellar void in the Milky Way Galaxy

A major revision is required in our understanding of the Milky Way Galaxy, according to an international team of astronomers led by Professor Noriyuki Matsunaga of the University of Tokyo. This is after a team of astronomers, which included Professor Michael Feast of the University of Cape Town, found that there was a huge region around the centre of our own Galaxy which was devoid of young stars.

Astronomers Pinpoint Echoes of Ancient Exploding Star on our Stellar Doorstep

1.	Colour image of Te 11 made from images showing light from Hydrogen and Nitrogen (red), Oxygen (green) and visual light (blue).

Breakthrough for astronomers from UCT and the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)

A team of astronomers has identified a rare star that exploded around 1,500 years ago. At the time, the star would have outshone all the stars of the Orion constellation, reaching a similar brightness to Jupiter in the night sky.

SA astronomers help discover hidden galaxies behind Milky Way

09 February 2016

UCT Professor Renée Kraan-Korteweg and Dr Anja Schröder of SAAO among lead authors of breakthrough paper

Hi-res images and animations available from

An international team of scientists that includes a leading astronomy researcher from the University of Cape Town and one from the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) have helped to make a groundbreaking discovery by peering through the stars and dust of the Milky Way with a radio telescope to discover hidden galaxies beyond. Both are available for interview. The study involved researchers from Australia, South Africa, the USA and the Netherlands.

Triple Supermassive Black Hole System Discovery Opens New Window on Exotic Physics

UCT Astronomer and SKA Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Roger Deane, is the lead of a team of scientists who have discovered a "black hole trio" in a distant galaxy, as published today in the journal Nature. Not only do their results suggest that these systems are far more common than originally thought, but that future radio telescopes, like MeerKAT and the African VLBI Network, will make direct contributions towards detecting and understanding the gravitational wave signal generated by these systems as they warp the fabric of spacetime.

A Handful of Stars

Prof. Michael Feast is featured in the May 19th edition of UCT's Monday Paper where he talks about his latest article in the prestigious journal, Nature. Read more about the man behind the discovery here: A Handful of Stars

SAAO and UCT Astronomers Discover Stars in the Galactic Flare

Full details to appear in the 15 May 2014 edition of Nature. For further information, see the SAAO Press Release and the following media sites: :

Times Live :

ZeeNews :

Dancing black holes near their grand finale

SKA SA fellow is lead author of first scientific paper from KAT-7 results

First paper: Dr Richard Armstrong (right) and Assoc Prof Patrick Woudt,on top of UCT’s RW James Building, home to the astronomy department.Armstrong is the first author of a scientific paper based on observations performed with South Africa’s new KAT-7 radio telescope.Woudt and Prof Rob Fender (not in picture) of the University of Southampton and a SKA visiting professor at UCT are co-authors.

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