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Southern African Large Telescope

From Academic Kids

Computer model of SALT's external appearance.
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Computer model of SALT's external appearance.

The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) will be an 11 metre (36 feet) diameter optical telescope, located in the semi-desert region of the Karoo, in South Africa. It will be a facility of the South African Astronomical Observatory, the national optical observatory of South Africa.

SALT will be the biggest telescope in the southern hemisphere. It will enable photography and analysis of the radiation from astronomical objects out of reach of northern hemisphere telescopes. The telescope is projected to be completed in November 2005 at a cost of roughly $30 million USD. Germany, Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand are partners in the project.

Contents

General information

SALT will be built on a hilltop in a nature reserve, 370 km (230 miles) northeast of Cape Town, near the small town of Sutherland. In March 2004, installation of the massive mirror began. It will be filled with 91 smaller mirrored hexagons.

Korea and Japan have telescopes at the site and South Africa has at least five optical telescopes there. The University of Birmingham has a solar telescope to help monitor the Sun around the clock.

SALT will probe quasars and enable scientists to view stars and galaxies a billion times too faint to be seen by the naked eye.

Partners

External links

  • SALT (http://www.salt.ac.za) - official site.

Related topics

References

  1. Reuters. South Africa looks to stars with super scope (http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/03/15/safrica.telescopes.reut/index.html). United Kingdom: Reuters Limited. March 15, 2004.
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