Page 67 - UCT Research Report 2011

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Professor de Blok has since taken up a senior position at
The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (Astron),
but will continue his work through student supervision
and his involvement in Mhongoose, one of UCT’s four
internationally-approved projects allocated for MeerKAT.
To fill Professor de Blok’s shoes as SARChI chair holder,
Dr Tom Jarrett from the California Institute of Technology
(CALTECH) was appointed to continue the department’s
growth in the field of multi-wavelength astronomy.
When ready in 2016, MeerKAT will be one of the most
powerful radio telescopes in the world. It will then be
supplemented with 180 further dishes to form the SKA
Phase 1 dish array and will be instrumental in internationally
groundbreaking work in its own right until the completion
of the SKA in 2025.
Following the 2010 international call for large survey
proposals onMeerKAT, 21 proposals were received, of which
10 were accepted. Four of the 10 projects are led or co-led
by researchers from UCT. These are Laduma (Dr Sarah
Blyth), MIGHTEE (Dr Kurt van der Heyden), ThunderKAT
(Associate Professor Patrick Woudt and Professor Rob
Fender), and the above-mentioned Mhongoose.
The UCT MeerKAT projects vary from the study of nearby
galaxies, understanding how stars are formed and the
distribution of material and dark matter in the galaxies
(Mhongoose), to discovering more about active galactic
nuclei, bursts and explosive events in galaxies in the
quest to develop a greater understanding of galaxy
evolution (MIGHTEE), to the evolution of neutral gas in
the Universe (LADUMA), and the search for Dynamic and
Explosive Radio Transients (using radio telescopes to
study energy outflows caused by events such as novae
“When ready in 2016, MeerKAT will
be one of the most powerful radio
telescopes in the world.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Danie Visser and SKA SARChI Chair holder Professor Claude Carignan, at the
MeerKAT site in the Karoo, pictured here with the KAT7 telescopes.