South Africa’s Meerkat Radio Telescope team has been recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) for its series of spectacular observations in radio astronomy. Notable works included images of the Galactic Centre Region and stunning radio bubbles. The 2023 Group Achievement Award is highly influential in escalating organisations to being top-ranked as a major Astronomy and Physics programme globally.
The Meerkat project was born of the aspiration to hone a South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA) precursor telescope. This telescope would be expected to be a powerful instrument in its own right. The Meerkat project is a project of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) under the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Recent previous winners include; the EAGLE simulations Team (2022), Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Team (2021), the Astropy Project Team (2020), the Galaxy Zoo Team (2019), the Planck Team (2018), The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Team (2017).
SARAO commented that the success of the Meerkat Radio Telescope team has set scientific and technological preconditions for setting up the SKA telescope in South Africa. The SKA telescope will be divided into a middle-frequency array in South Africa incorporating Meerkat and a low-frequency array in Australia. To learn more about this, click here.