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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.

UCT and SKA SA astronomers publish the first HI line (neutral hydrogen) paper based on KAT-7 observations

A team composed of Prof C. Carignan, postdoctoral fellows D. Lucero and K. Hess, PhD students B. Frank and T. Randriamampandry from UCT and of SKA SA scientists S. Goedhart and S. Passmoor have published, in the well-known Astronomical Journal, the first scientific publication on neutral hydrogen (HI) using KAT-7 observations. The astronomers pointed the telescope towards a galaxy called NGC 3109 – a spiral galaxy, about 4.3 million light-years away from Earth, located in the constellation of Hydra.

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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