SA joins international star-scanning institute

The Karoo Array Telescope site, part of the MeerKAT and Square Kilometre Array project in the Northern Cape.  (AFP)

The Karoo Array Telescope site, part of the MeerKAT and Square Kilometre Array project in the Northern Cape. (AFP)

This marked a new level of partnership between Europe and South Africa in science, said the National Research Foundation’s deputy CEO, Dr Gansen Pillay on Sunday.

“It is expected to act as an additional mechanism in promoting the growth of science in South Africa, with developmental benefits well beyond the field of radio astronomy,” he said.

JIVE, or the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry, is an international institute funded by national research councils in nine countries in Europe and beyond.

It works in various fields of galactic and extragalactic radio astronomy, planetary and space sciences.

South Africa has long provided data to JIVE through its Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Pillay said the NRC’s membership of JIVE recognised the country’s contribution to European data from the Hartebeesthoek Observatory and the newly built radio astronomy facility KAT-7 in the Karoo.

“We are most excited that this collaboration will aid in promoting South Africa’s commitment to the science of astronomy and forge more international science relations,” said Pillay. – Sapa

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