News & events


Re-Emergence of Leading Astronomy in Africa

21 February 2012
12:30 - 14:00

Date :

21 February 2012

Time :

12:30 – 14:00


Presented by Dr Tshepo Seekoe Chief Director, Radio Astronomy Advances, DST, and Mr Aunkh Chabalala , Director, IKS, DST

It is no secret that Ancient Africans were proficient Star-Gazers, and knowledge of the stellar systems formed part of their cosmology and worldview. Through their understanding of the star systems, they intuited the universal laws of nature. To them stars were not only cosmic arms of time, but also shaped their reality and day to day life like agriculture, health, education, relationships, environmental management and nation building rituals.

There are currently three international telescopes in the Northern Cape Karoo. The first is SALT, which an optical telescope near Sutherland. The second is the C-Band All Sky Survey (C-BASS), which is a radio telescope. The third is PAPER (Precision Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionisation), which is a radio telescope. A number of African countries are developing initiatives in astronomy, they are:

  • Egypt is refurbishing its 1.9-metre optical telescope. 
  • Mauritius has the Mauritius Radio Telescope, which was constructed in the early 1990s.
  • South Africa and Mauritius are jointly building a low frequency array with telescope stations in both countries.
  • Burkina Faso is installing a 1-metre optical telescope.
  • Ethiopia is considering installing a 2-metre robotic optical/infrared telescope and increasing the number of universities to support astronomy.
  • Kenya and Mozambique, as a result of the African bid for the SKA, have started an astronomy programme at the University of Nairobi and University of Eduardo Mondlane respectively.
  • Ghana has started conversion of a communications antenna into a radio telescope.
  • Nigeria is erecting a 25-metre radio telescope and has expressed an interest in taking part in the African VLBI network.
  • Namibia has the HESS telescope, which a high-energy telescope owned by an international consortium.
  • South Africa has completed a 7-dish array called Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7)

Kindly RSVP by 18 February 2012


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