News / ASTRONOMY ARTICLES

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Newsletter Oct 2016

News from the SALT operations team   Highlights include some great news from the August stand-down period and from our new edge-sensor system: salt_newsletter_oct2016

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An unusual nova, possibly in Sagittarius

An unusual nova possibly associated with the Sagittarius stream   Novae are stellar explosions that take place in binary stellar systems. During these explosions, the star’s brightness increases by many orders of magnitude, and then fades to its initial brightness, and the system survives the explosion. A team of SAAO astronomers led by an SAAO […]

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Supernovae & their remnants

Supernovae & their remnants   A bright Supernova (SN) candidate was detected by an automated SN survey called ASAS-SN using a small automated telescope in Chile in the morning of Sep 21st.  The new source was in a galaxy NGC 613, a barred spiral galaxy some 70 million light years away in the constellation of […]

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Newsletter May 2016

News from the SALT operations team   Check out what we were getting up to at SALT earlier this year: salt_newsletter_may2016

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SN2016adj: Supernova in Centaurus A

Death of a star: Supernova in Centaurus A A supernova, a star that just ended its life in an explosion, was discovered yesterday (Feb 8, 2016) in a nearby galaxy known as Centaurus A.  The galaxy is well known for its peculiar and prominent dust lane and for it hosting one of the closest active […]

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SAMS Project

SAMS Project What does SAMS mean? SAMS is an acronym for the SALT Array Management System. It comprises a set of sensors mounted on the mirror segments connected to racks of electronics  feeding data to a Labview program that is designed to maintain the overall shape of the SALT mirror array once it has been […]

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QPOs with a pinch of SALT

What is accretion? The broadest description of accretion is this: Material falls onto an object. But of course, if that were the full story, throngs of astronomers would be jobless! Accretion occurs in a diverse variety of astrophysical objects, from the supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies, billions of times more massive than […]

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Laser Frequency Comb

Laser Frequency Comb HRS is the High Resolution Spectrograph used at SALT. It can observe faint objects with extremely high accuracy, and thus can be used for most, if not all, kinds of astronomical research. As for all astronomical instruments (and in fact for all scientific equipment!), there are many steps required to go from […]

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ESO474-G040: (not) The Eye of Sauron

ESO474-G040: Not “the Eye of Sauron”, but still a fascinating galaxy “Two Russians, a Finn, and a Jew come into a bar” seems like the beginning of a joke. In fact, it is really “two South Africans, a Russian and an Israeli go into the SALT dome”, and this is not a joke. Observations performed […]

By Dr Marissa Kotze

Remote observing

Remote Observing with BVIT Imagine getting an observation with a 10m class telescope done from anywhere in the world… It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. Remote observing gives astronomers the opportunity to use telescopes without physically being near them. Such capabilities are readily available on a number of smaller telescopes around the world via an internet connection. […]