SALT - Southern African Large Telescope

Africa's Giant Eye : Building the Southern African Large Telescope

By David Buckley, Marguerite Lombard, Mike Lomberg, Kobus Meiring, Roelien Theron
Photography by Nick Aldridge
Additional photographs by SAAO and SALT Foundation
Illustrations by Greg Cook and Willem Esterhuyse (SALT)

Book Details
ISBN: 0 620 34783 X
Publisher: The SALT Foundation (Pty) Ltd
Publication date: November 2005
Size: 230 mm x 285mm landscape
Extent: 192 pages
Format: Hardcover

ZAR 120.00 + Postage

About the book
An old San legend tells of a girl who threw a handful of burning embers into the night sky to create the Milky Way – an arc of stars that glows across the southern heavens – providing light so that we could safely navigate our way in the dark.

Bathed in the soft starlight of our Milky Way Galaxy, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) collects the faintest of celestial light signals, from the farthest reaches of the universe to the closest, our Solar System. Built on a remote hilltop near Sutherland in the Karoo, SALT is a state-of-the-art scientific instrument designed to unravel some of the mysteries of the universe in which we live.

The telescope and the instruments created for this task are marvels of science, engineering and technology. Five years in the making, they are the culmination of a vision to build the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere on African soil. The telescope’s enormous light-gathering power, facilitated by a massive segmented primary mirror eleven metres across, will give the brightest minds of our time an opportunity to push the frontiers of what constitutes our knowledge of the universe and its workings.

Africa’s Giant Eye: Building the Southern African Large Telescope tells the story of an extraordinary undertaking to create a world-class scientific facility and the talented team of people who made it possible. Superbly designed and richly illustrated, the book is a testament to what can be achieved when dreams, conjured from the wonders of science, are turned into reality.

Book Content
Foreword by Khotso Mokhele, President, National Research Foundation
Chapter 1: Astronomy in Africa: A Brief History
Chapter 2: From Vision to Reality: Laying the Groundwork
Chapter 3: Africa’s Eye on the Universe: Building SALT
Chapter 4: The SALT Science Instruments: Reading the Light
Chapter 5: Future Visions: Doing Science with SALT
SALT: An Overview (1998–2005)
Project and Commissioning Teams

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SAAO Library
Tel: +27 (0)21 447 0025
Email: library(at)