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Professor Patricia Whitelock, winner of the SAIP De Beers Gold Medal 2018 for her outstanding research career in astronomy and astrophysics, and for her distinguished and extensive contributions to leadership, education and human capacity development of the Physics and Astronomy community.

Prof Patricia Whitelock Awarded SAIP De Beers Gold Medal 2018

The SAIP Gold award is made for outstanding achievements in any of the following facets of any branch of Physics: research, education, technology and industrial development. As the highest standards are applied, the award is intended to be the greatest distinction that is conferred in South Africa for achievements in Physics.

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Dr Tana Joseph awarded Fulbright and Newton Fellowships

When we asked Dr Tana Joseph, an outreach astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), during the August 2017 NRF Women’s Month celebrations which one of her academic achievements she was most proud of, she answered that she had just been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work in the US for several months. Little did she know that shortly after that, she would also receive a Newton Fellowship.

NRF funds state-of-the-art nuclear spectrometer for UWC

Following a intensive and rigorous review process involving international experts, the National Research Foundation has approved the funding of R35 million for a Nuclear Spectrometer. GAMKA, which stands for GAMma-ray spectrometer for Knowledge in Africa and the name, stems from the Khoisan word for “lion.” The new equipment will bolster the country’s ability to perform cutting edge nuclear research.

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A Sutherland Robotic Telescope Spots an Extrasolar Planet

A Sutherland based robotic telescope, KELT-South, spotted an extrasolar planet, KELT-10b, during its routine observations. KELT-South (Kilodegree Extremely Small – South) is dedicated to the search of transiting planets orbiting especially bright stars.

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The SALT Science Conference 2015

The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) Foundation and South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) are delighted with the success of the SALT Science Conference 2015 held in Stellenbosch from the 1st to the 5th June. The programme was jam-packed with talks, poster presentations, practical workshops and discussions showcasing SALT’s capabilities. Over ninety astronomers and education professionals attended the conference representing over twenty nationalities.

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SAAO Donates Telescopes to UFS and UKZN

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Sutherland will be abuzz with excitement and celebration on February 4-5 as SAAO hands over the 0.5 and 0.75 metre telescopes to their proud new owners, the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and the University of Free State (UFS), Boyden Observatory, respectively chosen by the SAAO as having provided the best motivations for why the telescopes should be donated to them.

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First SA Partner to H2020 Project

The European Union has granted 2 million Euros for EU Space Awareness (EUSPACE-AWE) Project, focusing on the excitement of astronomy and space to attract young people into science and technology and stimulate global citizenship. The project will show children and teenagers the opportunities offered by astronomy, space science and engineering and inspire primary-school children when their curiosity is high and their value systems are being formed.

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