Home Tech South Africa's MeerKAT telescope captivates handsomely  Milky Way Center

South Africa's MeerKAT telescope captivates handsomely  Milky Way Center

MeerKAT consists of 64 dishes, each 13.5 meters in diameter, up to 8 kilometers apart, spread across the dusty Karoo region of South Africa. It is operated by the South African Radio Astronomical Observatory (SARAO) and is just the first phase of the Square Kilometer Array, a project that will eventually become the largest telescope in the world with facilities in Africa and Australia.

"We wanted to demonstrate the scientific capabilities of this new instrument," says Fernando Camilo, senior scientist at SARAO. "The center of the galaxy was an obvious target: unique, visually conspicuous, and full of inexplicable phenomena – but also notoriously hard to image with radio telescopes. Although MeerKAT is still young and there is a lot to be optimized, we decided to go for it – and were amazed by the results. "

The end result of MeerKAT observations is a panoramic image that covers an area of ​​about 1,000 light-years and 500 light-years. The colors show the strength of the received radio signals, from red for low emissions to orange, then yellow and white for the brightest sources.

Not surprisingly, the brightest part of the picture is the one that surrounds the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. Other bright spots indicate supernova remnants and star-forming regions, some of which have never been pictured before, while others are simply seen more clearly than in the past.

"The MeerKAT image is so clear," says Farhad Yusef-Zadeh, astronomer at Northwestern University. "It shows so many features that have never been seen before, including compact sources associated with some of the filaments that could provide the key to cracking the code and solving this three-decade puzzle."

This is not the first picture of MeerKAT. Two years ago, the array revealed over 1,300 new galaxies in a celestial body with only 16 of its antennae. Now that MeerKAT is running properly, it will scour the skies over the southern hemisphere for signs of gravitational waves, pulsar signals, and even seek out evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Must Read

Tesla is racing towards a financial catastrophe – and Elon Musk seems perplexed

To start with, a quiz question: which company made a $ 702 million loss in the first quarter of the current fiscal year? You...

DFB cup final in the gender neutral stadium

At the DFB Cup final, there will be gender-neutral toilets, such as those at the airport in San Diego. (Archive) Picture: Picture Alliance In March...

'Level' Kawhi puts Raptor's on cusp of first finals

2:51 AM ETTim BontempsESPN MILWAUKEE - In a quiet moment after the Toronto Raptors pulled off a 105-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in...

Cheryl Burke & Matthew Lawrence are married

Congratulations to the bride and groom! The alum "Dancing With the Stars" ties in with actor Mathew Lawrence. See Cheryl's wedding dress, the beautiful...

Independent candidate Anthony Pesec said voters had received incorrect instructions to vote

Anthony Pesec, an independent candidate for the Senate, has accused the members of the Australian Electoral Commission of giving the wrong information to the...