From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report.
The South African Astronomical Observatory and the Department of Science and Technology last month launched the MeerLICHT optical telescope at the Observatory site in Sutherland, which will be ‘the eye’ of the MeerKAT radio telescope. Marleny Arnoldi tells us more.
MeerLICHT, meaning ‘more light’ in Dutch, will simultaneously scan the southern skies together with MeerKAT, creating a unique and world-first combination where astronomers will be studying stars and galaxies in two parts of the spectrum at the same time. SAAO director Professor Petri Vaisanen discusses why this telescope is unique.
SAAO director Professor Petri Vaisanen:
The MeerLICHT comprises a 110-megapixel camera that captures a wide field of view, imaging faint objects within a minute, to help scientists understand the nature of objects. One image is about 350MB. MeerLICHT co-principal investigator and University of Cape Town Professor Patrick Woudt explains how the camera functions.
MeerLICHT co-principal investigator & UCT Professor Patrick Woudt:
Using this telescope, scientists hope to understand transient activity better and accordingly within smaller time frames. Woudt elaborates.
MeerLICHT co-principal investigator & UCT Prof Patrick Woudt:
These universal finds could help scientists answer the origin question, where we come from and how, for example, minerals such as gold are formed. MeerLICHT co-principal investigator and Radboud University Professor Paul Groot comments.
MeerLICHT co-principal investigator & Radboud University Prof Paul Groot:
While we wait for new discoveries to be made, DST director-general Dr Phil Mjwara speaks about what value this telescope, along with MeerKAT, brings to South Africa.
DST director-general Dr Phil Mjwara:
That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy.