Episode 6: Galactic Neighbourhoods

with Prof Eric Wilcots and Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana

In this episode, we speak with Prof Eric Wilcots and Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana about galaxies and the environments they live in.

We discuss how and where galaxies form, and how they interact with other galaxies, and what effect that has on how these galaxies continue to evolve.

We also chat about how astronomers observe clusters of galaxies and the exciting science that will be coming out of the MeerKAT Telescope.

This image, based on observations made with South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope, shows the clearest view yet of the central regions of our galaxy. Credit: SARAO/MeerKAT

This week’s guests:

Featured Image:
Stephan’s Quintet is a visual grouping of five galaxies of which four form the first compact galaxy group ever discovered. Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Episode Links:
SALT: https://www.salt.ac.za/
MeerKAT: https://www.ska.ac.za/gallery/meerkat/
VLA: https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla

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: