A composite image of data from NASAÕs Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue) and Hubble Space Telescope (red and purple) of NGC 6543 shows a phase that Sun-like stars undergo at the end of their lives. Material from the outer layers of the star in the Cat's Eye is flying away at about 4 million miles per hour. A hot core is left behind that eventually collapses to become a white dwarf star. The Chandra data reveal that the central star in NGC 6543 is surrounded by a cloud of multi-million-degree gas.

Planetary Nebula

Learning about planetary nebulae   Galactic phenomena’s that make the rainbow seem like yesterday’s news are a mystery to the optical eye. There are many sites on the wide world web that have an influx of beautiful images no one has ever seen on a beautiful starry night. However, SALT astronomer Brent Miszalski and his […]


Luhman 16

Ultra Cool Dwarf Stars & Luhman 16   In 2013, an astronomer at the Pennsylvania State University, Kevin Luhman, discovered a binary of brown dwarf stars 6.2 Light years away from our solar system. Being the third closest star after Alpha Centauri and Barnard Star to Earth, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) astronomers were […]


Binary Star Systems

Binary Star Systems for the Humanities Student   Some of the interesting observations being done at SALT include the observations of a close binary system. Are you unfamiliar with the term? A binary system is a system of two objects in space (usually stars, but they can also be brown dwarfs, planets, galaxies, or asteroids) which are so close to one […]


New Horizons

New Horizons for SALT   The excitement is palpable as New Horizons draws near to its destination. An interplanetary probe aptly named New Horizons was launched on the 19th of January 2006, with the intention of a flyby of the (former) planet on the outskirts of our solar system; the icy and mysterious Pluto. After […]



SAAO/SALT Outreach Programme   When it comes to highly scientific technologies that enhance our knowledge of the stars and other planetary phenomenon’s, its easy to get lost in all the big words that you’ve most certainly never heard in daily conversations. The SAAO/SALT Outreach Programme is an initiative that seeks to educate the public about […]