SALT’s excellence and achievements

2016-12-15 06:01
 The Southern African Large Telescope

The Southern African Large Telescope

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) welcomes the 2016 Science Diplomacy Award given by the Department of Science and Technology as a result of the telescope consistently contributing to globally significant discoveries in astronomy. Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and build constructive international partnerships. The Science Diplomacy Awards recognise excellence and achievements in international scientific cooperation.

“This award recognises the scientific success of SALT, which is obtaining high-quality observations of the cosmos every night and distributing this information to partners around the world, expanding our understanding of the universe in which we live. This success is due to the ingenuity and dedication of a world-class team of South African and international scientists, engineers, and technicians who designed, built, and operate SALT. The telescope inspires a generation of young South Africans to dare to dream big, and to have the confidence and skill to bring those dreams into reality”, says Professor Ted Williams, the director of the South African Astronomical Observatory.

The Southern African Large Telescope has recently celebrated 11 years since its construction and inauguration in 2005. SALT is a 10 metre class telescope located in Sutherland in the Northern Cape. It has been in full science operations for 5 years, with its consortium of partners from South Africa, Poland, the United States, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and India who have made the building and operation of the telescope possible.

There are more than 150 international peer-reviewed scientific papers published thus far based on SALT data. Recent contributions of SALT to science include the discovery of the brightest supernova ever found and the unveiling of a massive supercluster of galaxies. The trend of SALT’s science output parallels that of other large international telescopes. However comparing operation costs, SALT produces science more cost-effectively than any other 10 metre class telescope. Numerous students are getting trained locally and internationally.

Since the building of SALT, the South African Astronomical Observatory has been actively involved in astronomy outreach by sharing scientific discoveries with the communities across South Africa with particular focus in Sutherland and Cape Town which is where our operations are located. As such, both locations have a thriving community engagement programme involving schools, teachers and society. Additionally, many visitors to Sutherland get an opportunity to see the telescope during the day.

Mr. Sivuyile Manxoyi, who is the head of SALT Collateral Benefits Programme says, “The building of SALT has not only contributed to science research advancement, but to socio-economic development in Sutherland and nearby towns through tourism. The other major benefit is education and outreach in science, which we continue to implement nationally. SALT continues to serve as an inspiration and to instill confidence that our country and its people have the potential to excel in science and technology.”

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.