Episode 4: Black holes and Radio Jets

with Dr Imogen Whittam and Lerato Sebokolodi

Episode 4 features Dr Imogen Whittam, a SARAO Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of the Western Cape and Lerato Sebokolodi a PhD student, based at SARAO and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the USA.

Imogen talks about her work on Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), stemming from the super-massive black holes that reside at the centre of most galaxies and how we learn how these massive beasts work.

Lerato chats about one AGN in particular, the famous Cygnus A and her work on the magnetic fields that drive the formation of the beautiful jets pictured below.

An image taken at radio wavelengths of the dramatic jets of charged particles being ejected from the nucleus of the galaxy Cygnus A. Image credit: NRAO/AU.

Episode Links:
SARAO: https://www.ska.ac.za/about/sarao/
UWC: http://astro.uwc.ac.za/
NRAO: https://public.nrao.edu/
MeerKAT: https://www.ska.ac.za/science-engineering/meerkat/about-meerkat/
JVLA: https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla

This week’s guests:



Episode 2: Instruments and Singing Asteroids

with Dr Amanda Sickafoose and Vanessa Lorenzo

In Episode 2, we hear from Dr Amanda Sickafoose who tells us about the complicated instrumentation her team are building for South African telescopes and some of her fascinating work on our Solar System.

Vanessa Lorenzo also talks to us about her time as artist-in-residence at the SAAO and her installation giving a voice to rocks and asteroids.

Vanessa demonstrating her prototype exhibition at the SAAO. 
The performer Mélanie Martinoli explores the augmented rocks in the VR version of 
‘Always Calling Home’, by Vanessa Lorenzo, 2018-ongoing. Photo by the artist CC BY 4.0. 

Episode Links:

https://www.hybridoa.org/

This week’s guests:

Episode 1: SALT and Near-Earth Asteroids

with Dr Moses Mogotsi and Dr Nicolas Erasmus

Welcome to the very first episode of The Cosmic Savannah!

In this episode, we introduce ourselves and our vision for the podcast, SALT Astronomer Dr Moses Mogotsi describes what it’s like to use the biggest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and Dr Nicolas Erasmus tells us about the hunt for near-earth asteroids.

The Sutherland Plateau, SAAO.
SAAO Researcher Dr Nicolas Erasmus and his MSc student Petro Janse Van Rensburg observed a large (1-2 km) asteroid passing Earth at about 75 times the distance to the moon. But in the background, a distant spiral galaxy!

The Cosmic Savannah is created and hosted by Dr Jacinta Delhaize and Dr Daniel Cunnama.

Jacinta is a radio astronomer based at the University of Cape Town. She is a South African Radio Astronomical Observatory (SARAO) Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dan is the Science Engagement Astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO).

Episode Links:
SAAO: http://www.saao.ac.za
ATLAS: http://atlas.fallingstar.com
SALT: http://www.salt.ac.za
Minor Planet Center: https://minorplanetcenter.net/

SARAO: https://www.ska.ac.za/about/sarao/
UCT Astronomy: http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/
African VLBI Network: https://www.ska.ac.za/science-engineering/avn/

This week’s guests: