News / Press Releases

Observing the fast & the furious

“Observing the fast and the furious: SAAO observes the first optical counterpart of a Gravitational Wave source” Above: An artist’s impression of a kilonova, the result of two colliding and merging neutron stars, which was the source of the first gravitational wave event (GW170817) for which an electromagmetic counterpart was detected at different wavelengths (picture credit: […]

Breaking news: SALT & Gravitational Waves

SALT and SAAO telescopes partake in an unprecedented international collaboration to investigate the origin of the first detection of gravitational waves produced by two colliding neutron stars. The discovery marks the birth of a new era in astrophysics, the first cosmic event observed in both gravitational waves and light.  SALT and other SAAO telescopes have provided […]

Discovery of a Bright Nova

Discovery of one of the most luminous eruptions from a dying star: SALT contributes to a major international multi-wavelength effort led by South Africa. A multinational group of astronomers have discovered what it might be the brightest nova (a luminous stellar eruption) ever observed. This mighty eruption was first detected on the 14th of October […]

Life Cycle of a Nova

Recovery of nova spotted by ancient Koreans, illuminates many stages of star system’s life cycle On a cold March night in Seoul almost 600 years ago, Korean astronomers spotted a bright new star in the tail of the constellation Scorpius. It was seen for just 14 days before fading from visibility. From these ancient records, […]

SALT Conference 2017

SALT among the constellations of very large telescopes Many of us recently gathered together in Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, to attend the workshop ‘SALT among the constellations of very large telescopes’. This meeting comes around 2 years after the first conference dedicated to SALT science results that was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Kazimierz Dolny is […]

SALT’s achievements recognised by DST

SALT’s excellence and achievements recognised by the Department of Science and Technology The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) welcomes the 2016 Science Diplomacy Award given by the Department of Science and Technology as a result of the telescope consistently contributing to globally significant discoveries in astronomy. Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among […]

A major supercluster of galaxies uncovered

SALT helps international team to discover major supercluster of galaxies hidden by Milky Way Observations done with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) helped a team of South African and international collaborators to uncover a previously unknown, major supercluster in the constellation Vela. The Vela supercluster might have a significant influence on the motion of […]

Lodén 1 debunked

SALT helps proving the putative old and nearby cluster Lodén 1 to be neither old, nor nearby, nor a cluster. Stellar clusters are the keys to study stellar evolution and structure. By characterizing stellar clusters, we understand how the age, mass, and metallicity affect the formation and evolution of stars. For instance, stellar clusters with similar […]

Laser Frequency Comb testing

SALT tests a high accuracy and high precision calibration ruler for its High Resolution Spectrograph Since last week, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) in Sutherland has been testing a Laser Frequency Comb, which is a calibration device that uses powerful lasers and photonic crystal fibres to produce the equivalent of a ruler that is […]

Echoes of ancient exploding star

SALT helps to pinpoint echoes of an ancient exploding star on our stellar doorstep When amateur astronomers found a peculiar looking nebula (called Te 11) in the Orion constellation in 2010, astronomers weren’t quite sure what to make of it. It could have been the envelope of an old star like the Sun or the […]