Remarkable recovery of satellite studying the sun

  After 22 months, on 21 August 2016, NASA scientists re-established contact with STEREO-B, one of NASA’s solar terrestrial relations observatories, after communication was lost on 1 October 2014. Scientists recently started a monthly recovery operation, using NASA’s deep space network, or DSN, which tracks and communicates with missions throughout space. Their persistence was crowned […]

MeerKAT – the best radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere

  The MeerKAT First Light image of the sky, released by Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, shows unambiguously that MeerKAT is  the best radio telescope of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Array Release 1 consists of 16 of an eventual 64 dishes. It is the first significant scientific milestone achieved by MeerKAT […]

Juno spacecraft in orbit around mighty Jupiter

  After an almost five-year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth on 5 July at 8:53 am (SA time). NASA administrator Charlie Bolden said the Juno NASA mission went boldly where no […]

Clues found to explain the formation of giant Black Holes

  Using combined data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the  Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes. “Our discovery, if confirmed, explains how these monster black holes were born,” said Fabio Pacucci of Scuola […]

Sutherland robotic telescope spots an extrasolar planet

  The Sutherland-based robotic telescope, Kilodegree extremely little telescope (KELT)-South, spotted an extrasolar planet, KELT-10b, during its routine observations. KELT-South is dedicated to the search of transiting planets orbiting especially bright stars. Astronomers refer to these planets as “hot Jupiters” because of their composition and mass. They are gas giants similar to the planet Jupiter, except […]

Reusable rockets will reduce cost to space

  When a SpaceX Falcon rocket flew itself back to its Florida launch site last December, the feat was hailed as a key step in Elon Musk’s quest to develop an inexpensive, reliable reusable rocket. But that was only half the story.  On Friday 8 April a more challenging and potentially revolutionary step was accomplished […]