Hubble peers at the heart of NGC 5793

  NGC 5793, a Seyfert galaxy, is of great interest to astronomers as it houses masers, which tell us a lot about their environment and supermassive black holes.  This new Hubble image is centred on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150-million light-years away in the constellation of Libra. This galaxy has two particularly striking […]

Space technology grows locally

  South Africa may not have a satellite launch facility yet – it is on the cards for the future – but several satellites are under construction at various institutions and locations. South Africa’s first satellite, SunSat, was built by students and staff at Stellenbosch University, and was launched by NASA in 1999. The outflow […]

Hardy star survives supernova blast

  Chandra’s X-ray data also show that the inside of the supernova remnant is rich in oxygen, neon and magnesium, and optical observations with the South African Astronomical Observatory’s 1,9 m telescope show that the velocity of the massive star is changing and that it orbits around the neutron star or black  black hole with a period of tens of days. […]

The SKA benefits from UK investment

SKA – the world’s next great science project, after the International Space Station and the Large Hadron Collider The UK Science Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Willetts announced funding of £100-million for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, in a recent speech at Jodrell Bank Observatory. The emblematic observatory hosts the headquarters of the SKA Organisation, which […]

African partner countries commit to SKA

  by Hans van de Groenendaal, features editor, EngineerIT “The SKA is putting Africa on the map in a very different way. It changes the perceptions of ourselves, changes the world perceptions of Africa and it offers opportunities for African scientists  to  enter into the cutting  edge of science and technology where, we believe, some […]

Kepler team finds 715 new planets

  Years ago, before the launch of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, astronomers were thrilled when they discovered a single planet. Last month the Kepler team announced 715.  Kepler has always been good at finding planets. Even before the announcement, the observatory had confirmed 246 new worlds outside the solar system. The latest discoveries almost quadruple that […]

CubeSats deployed from the ISS

  A new fleet of 28 small satellites, called Flock 1, were deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on 11 February 2014 by the small satellite orbital deployer (SSOD), in the grasp of the Kibo laboratory robotic arm. The NanoRacks deployer provides commercial access to space from the International Space Station. The 28 CubeSats […]