Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Giant Eye to shed light on the secrets of the universe


Students at The University of Nottingham will be able to stargaze at distant galaxies to learn more about the origins of life, thanks to a giant, state-of-the-art telescope being unveiled more than 6,000 miles away.

The Nottingham chemistry and physics students will be able to use the internet to access images captured by the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) — dubbed Africa’s Giant Eye — without having to visit its site at Sutherland, 400 km north of Cape Town, in South Africa.

The gigantic telescope — the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere — will be launched today by South African President Thabo Mbeki at a ceremony that will also be attended by The University of Nottingham’s Professor Don Grierson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, and Professor Peter Sarre, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Astrophysics in the University’s School of Chemistry.

Professor Grierson said: “The University is delighted to be part of this exciting new venture that promises to help unlock the secrets of our universe. SALT will be a wonderful inspiration and research tool for students worldwide.

“SALT is a truly international achievement with partners from across the globe. Our participation further strengthens Nottingham’s position as a world-class, research-led university."

The £11 million project is an international partnership backed by six different countries including a UK consortium consisting of The University of Nottingham, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Keele and Southampton universities, the Open University and Armagh Observatory.

Limited scientific observations have already begun while completion of the telescope’s commissioning continues over the coming months. In the near future, installation will begin on the Prime Focus Imaging Spectrograph, which will allow astronomers to dissect and then analyse the dim light of distant stars and galaxies in dozens of different ways, some of them not available on any other large telescope.

SALT science programmes will include studies of the most distant and faint galaxies to observations of asteroids and comets in our own solar system.

At Nottingham, students will use the telescope to study how stars and galaxies form, to detect planets around other stars and to learn about the chemicals in space that may form the basis of life.

Professor Gordon Bromage, Chairman of the UK SALT Consortium and Head of Astrophysics at UCLan said: "SALT is a hugely significant project, incorporating innovative designs and magnificent engineering. It will provide astronomers with a window into the realms of planets around other stars and the origins of galaxies, which will surely lead to many exciting discoveries.

“This is particularly true given telescopes of this size and power are needed in both hemispheres to get an accurate picture of stars and galaxies. For example, one can only see our two nearest galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, from the southern hemisphere.”

Prof. Michael Merrifield | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>