Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Deputy President David Mabuza will on Friday, 13 July 2018, officially launch the 64-dish MeerKAT array, a significant milestone in radio astronomy, in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.
The MeerKAT will be the world’s largest radio telescope of its kind until the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has been completed, and will be integrated into Phase 1 of the mid-frequency component of the SKA.
The SKA, when completed, will be 50 to 100 times more sensitive than any other radio telescope on Earth. The SKA is expected to address fundamental questions about the universe, including how the first stars and galaxies were formed.
It is being built by an international consortium, including Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and will be co-hosted in Africa and Australia.
Deputy President Mabuza will be supported by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane; Former science and technology ministers, including Mr Ben Ngubane, Mr Mosibudi Mangena, Mr Derek Hanekom and Ms Naledi Pandor, and the Northern Cape Premier, Ms Sylvia Lucas.