International funding helps MeerKAT telescope get up and running by April

The MeerKAT telescope located in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, comprising 64 dishes, is nearing completion.

Head of operations at MeerKAT, Lindsay Magnus explains the telescope as a very big digital camera. Think of the number of dishes as a good representation of the number of pixels in our digital camera, she explains.

The distance between the dishes is like having a bigger lens in front of the camera, says Magnus.

We are able to synthesise our images by using clever computing and that's where the art of this kind of astronomy is.

Lindsay Magnus, Head of operations at MeerKAT

Magnus says, at the moment, they are still observing the telescope's operations. So far they have managed to observe things they wouldn't be able to see with other telescopes.

He says the actual work will start in April 2018.

Right now, we are in the validation and verification phase, we want to make sure that we get it 100% right...

Lindsay Magnus, Head of operations at MeerKAT

According to Magnus, Germany has come on board and paid for one of the receivers that will be deployed on the MeerKAT project and the US has also invested in a project to detect hydrogen emission.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : International funding helps MeerKAT telescope get up and running by April


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