Preparing for the departure of the KAT containers

Background On 6 May 2009, four containers arrived at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Observatory, Cape Town. These weren’t just normal containers, though. These were very special containers: high-tech, RFI-shielded containers, especially designed and outfitted to accommodate all the complicated equipment that will be needed to  control, operate and process the data from…

An exciting visit to the KAT-7 site: Day 2.2 Losberg to Site

After lunch, we climbed back into our respective vehicles and drove along the recently constructed road to the site, where the first seven antenna dishes are being put up. Gerrit stopped briefly at a deliberately widened section of the road, which he called “ons telefoonhokkie” – it’s the only place in the area where you…

Universe: Stephen Hawking in Muizenberg

Tonight, I saw Stephen Hawking live. What an awesome experience. The African Institute of Mathematics (AIMS), a fairly recently established centre for postgraduate study, had somehow managed to get an impressive group of highly respected Nobel laureate scientists to visit South Africa. We were lucky to get tickets for the event, which was hosted by…