News / Public Contributions

Meet the team: Dr Christian Hettlage

Meet the team: Dr Christian Hettlage   After studying at the University of Göttingen in Germany, Christian came to Cape Town in 2006 for three months in order to help with the PIPT. Three months turned into six, a year, and he somehow still hasn’t left, (editor: which is excellent news for SALT!) That gives […]

Black is the new orange

Black is the new orange   Image credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss Outer space looks black, at least relative to our eyes, but it wasn’t always the case! Straight after the big bang, the Universe was a VERY hot dense place, too hot for atoms to form. It was a hot soup of subatomic particles, such as electrons and […]

Meet the team: Dr Rosalind Skelton

Getting to know SALT astronomer, Dr Rosalind Skelton   Dr Rosalind Skelton, known to all as Ros, has been part of the SALT Astronomy team for just over a year. How did you become an astronomer? I grew up in Rustenburg in the North West province of South Africa and spent many happy camping trips […]

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Measuring the twinkling of the stars…   Image credit: Dr Tim-Oliver Husser. The closed ox-wagon encases the massdimm telescope, which has the sole task of measuring the twinkling of the stars. The more scientific term for twinkling, and the one you’ll hear people at the Observatory referring to, is “the seeing”. The latter is caused by […]

Meet the team: Dr Rudi Kuhn

Getting to know the SALT team: Astronomer Dr Rudi Kuhn It all started with a small boy having a big dream Dr Rudi Kuhn was only five years old when his dad taught him the names of the planets in our solar system, which at the time still included Pluto before it was demoted to a […]

Stellar magnitude

Stellar magnitude   The brightnesses of stars and other astronomical bodies are measured on the magnitude scale. For historical reasons the fainter the star the higher the magnitude assigned to it. The faintest object we can see with the naked eye has a magnitude of 6. The faintest object which SALT can see has a […]

Outreach: Help a girl

Observatory Outreach Initiative in Sutherland: “Help a Girl”   The Observatory has established a relationship with the Sutherland community and hopes to make a difference in the schools there (as a start). The “Help A Girl” initiative aims to keep the girls in school and empower female learners by providing them with sanitary protection. For […]


An exercise in astrophotography   Marko Plavetić is an amateur astrophotographer from Croatia, studying chemistry at the University of Zagreb. Above are some examples of the photography which he has done this year.

Meet the team: Dr Marissa Kotze

From insurance to the stars   Marissa Kotze is one woman who loves what she does. Making the drastic shift from working in the insurance industry to studying astronomy and becoming an astronomer at the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), Marissa Kotze is a charismatic, humorous and very intelligent person. She grew up in the […]

Writing internship

Scientific writing internship in Cape Town   For students interested in a writing internship focusing on astronomy and the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). The internship will be based at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town and dates are flexible, so please advise when you are available. Interviews with astronomers and engineers […]