UKZN set to reach for the stars with its own telescope

2014-07-14 00:00

UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science has been awarded a 0,75 m telescope after submitting a motivation to take over the instrument that was being redistributed by the South African Astronomical Observatory.

The telescope, manufactured by Grubb Parsons in the 1970s, is being donated after it was replaced by a modern one-metre aperture telescope.

The telescope, one of two smaller telescopes offered for donation, is due to arrive at UKZN in January 2015.

UKZN spokesperson Indu Moodley said that the telescope would be used by enrolled students and for outreach.

“In its motivation for the telescope, the school said it planned to use the instrument for student research projects at undergraduate, honours and masters levels, as well as for outreach purposes. This will allow the school to increase the capacity and knowledge of its students as well as contribute to increased awareness through the arrangement of evenings when the telescope is open to the public.”

Moodley said the university was still looking for a suitable building to house the telescope. “The school is looking into various options and has the support of the eThekwini Municipality, who may provide a suitable off-campus site for the housing of the telescope. Alternatively it may find a home on the Westville campus. The bid also had the support of the University of Zululand, meaning that the telescope’s eventual placement will be decided after due consideration is given to the convenience of students from both institutions,” she said.

The school’s Dr Matt Hilton said, “Not many universities have access to their own telescope of this size. We plan to introduce a new major in astronomy at the undergraduate level, beginning in 2015. In addition, UKZN will host a node of the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme from 2016, and will run Honours and Masters courses in Astrophysics and Space Science.”

The telescope will be used to provide hands-on training in observational astronomy in all of these courses.

Use of the telescope will also enable students to learn how to design and execute simple research projects. Some students may also design and build simple instruments that can be used on the telescope, such as imaging cameras or spectrographs.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.