SALT - Southern African Large Telescope

National Research Foundation (RSA)

The National Research Foundation (NRF) is the foundation in South Africa that supports the development of human resources skilled in the scientific, engineering and technology disciplines. It achieves this through the provision of grants to tertiary education institutions and the operation of four national facilities in the fields of optical and radio astronomy, marine research and nuclear research.

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the national facility in South Africa for optical/infrared astronomy operated by the NRF. The other national facilities operated by the NRF are the National Accelerator Centre (NAC) outside Cape Town, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory outside Pretoria and the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology in Grahamstown.

The NRF is funded by the South African Government through the Science Vote allocation from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Part of this funding is allocated to the SAAO for its research and educational projects, and its main observing facility is situated at Sutherland in the Northern Cape province.

The NRF is providing funding over a period of time to enable South Africa to be the major stakeholder in the SALT project.

Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (Poland)

Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (CAMK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences is a public institution of research and represents the Polish community of astronomers who will participate in SALT.

In 1999, an agreement was signed by the governments of Poland and South Africa to encourage and support scientific and technological co-operation between the two countries. In order to implement the agreement, a joint commission has been established which is charged, amongst other things, with identifying fields of co-operation. During the first session of the joint commission, both countries agreed to co-operate on and contribute to the construction and operation of SALT.

CAMK will be responsible for administering funds from the Polish budget provided by the State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN). CAMK, together with four Polish universities (Cracow, Poznan, Torun and Wroclaw) is also intending to create a foundation in Poland for sourcing funds from other resources for supporting the Polish participation in SALT. SALT will give the Polish community of astronomers access to a large telescope facility in the southern hemisphere and enable faculty and students to carry out cutting-edge astronomical research.

Hobby-Eberly Telescope Board (International)

HETB is the Board of Directors of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) which is located at the McDonald Observatory, Texas. SALT will be based on the design of HET, and it is therefore very advantageous to have HETB as a partner in SALT.

The Board of Directors of HET comprises representatives of the institutions that are participating in HET, namely the University of Texas at Austin, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

HETB is licensing the SALT FOUNDATION to make use of its plans, documentation and software and has also undertaken to use the telescope after its commissioning. Through this it plans to encourage scientific collaboration, exchanges of people and instruments, and student training opportunities between the partners in SALT and the HET Foundation.

Rutgers University (USA)

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is a public institution of higher education, teaching, and research operating under the direction of its Board of Governors. Participation in SALT will be of great value to the students, faculty, and other associates of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, to the University as a whole in its educational and research activities, and to the State of New Jersey.
The Public Relations Officer for Rutgers University is, Mr. Joseph Blumberg, blumberg(at) and his contact telephone number is +1 732 932 7084.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany)

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (GU) is a public institution of higher education, teaching, and research of the German Federal Country Lower Saxony (Land Niedersachsen). GU is represented by the Institut für Astrophysik.The University and the Faculty of Physics believe that access to  SALT greatly helps to carry out cutting edge research and teaching in astrophysics. For Public Relations contact Dr. Wolfram Kollatschny, wkollat(at) and telephone number +49 551 395 065.

University of Wisconsin - Madison (USA)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) is a state institution of higher education within the University of Wisconsin System under control and supervision of the Board of Regents, a body corporate of the State of Wisconsin.
The Public Relations Officer is Mr. Terry Devitt, trdevitt(at), his contact telephone number is +1 608 262 8282. An additional contact person would be Professor Matthew Bershady, mab(at)

Carnegie Mellon University (USA)

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), is an institution of higher education, teaching, and research and includes among its faculty, members engaged in research, teaching, and service to the Department of Physics. Participating in SALT will greatly benefit both its graduate and undergraduate students, as well as members of faculty engaged in various fields of research.

University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

The University of Canterbury (UC) is a public institution of higher education, teaching and research within the New Zealand tertiary education sector and its shareholding in SALT will be through a combination of cash and in-kind support. Access to SALT will provide scientific and technological opportunities for a new generation of New Zealand researchers, engineers and technicians. There will also be significant benefits for research-informed teaching.

University of Canterbury SALT Brochure

Consortium of UK Universities and Institutions

The Universities of Central Lancashire, Southampton, Nottingham, Keele, the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland and the Open University have joined together to form the United Kingdom SALT Consortium in order to participate in SALT.

This a group of UK institutions undertake research and teaching at higher education level.The UKSC believes that participation in SALT will be of great value to students and staff of the institutions in their research programmes in astronomy and related sciences, and in the promotion of general understanding and appreciation of science, engineering and technology.

The Public Relations contact for the University of Central Lancashire is Chris Theobald: Telephone number, +44 1772 201 201.

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (USA)

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) is a state institution of higher education within the University of North Carolina system under the control and supervision of the Board of Governors, a corporate body of the State of North Carolina. UNC-CH includes among its faculty engaged in research, teaching and service the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The Departmental faculty believe that its faculty and students, graduate and undergraduate, would benefit greatly by access to the Southern African Large Telescope.

Dartmouth College (USA)

Dartmouth College is a private institution of higher learning, teaching, and research. Dartmouth faculty includes a Department of Physics and Astronomy engaged in teaching and research. Dartmouth believes that its faculty and its undergraduate and graduate students would benefit by having access to a large telescope located in the Southern Hemisphere.

Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (India)

The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) is an autonomous institution set up by the University Grants Commission to promote nucleation and growth of active groups in Astronomy and Astrophysics in Indian universities.

IUCAA aims at being a centre for excellence within the university sector for teaching, research and development in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

American Museum of Natural History (USA)

The Department of Astrophysics is located in the Rose Center for Earth and Space on the grounds of the American Museum of Natural History. The newest academic research department in the Museum, the department was formed to support the astronomy education activities of the Museum and to conduct research into astronomy and astrophysics. Additionally, the department provides scientific support for the exhibits of the Rose Center and Hayden Planetarium.

Michael Shara curated the Einstein exhibition, shown at AMNH from November 15, 2002 to July 27, 2003. The exhibition hosted over 100,000 visitors during its first 4 months and garnered significant positive attention from the media and museum supporters. Shara organized and co-hosted a one day symposium (May 19, 2003) on the Einstein Papers Project. Speakers include most of the leading historians of science working through the personal and scientific papers of Albert Einstein. The Department of Astrophysics also helped organize a public forum on the Einstein Papers, and a second entitled "Science and Society: Academic Freedom vs. National Security."