Reaching for the stars

Reaching for the stars

While many of us on the southern tip are gnashing our teeth over power blackouts, xenophobic rampages and fiscal cliffs, Dr Bernie Fanaroff, world-renowned astronomer and director of the South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA), has Africa aiming for the stars.

You see lots and lots of nothing… and then all of a sudden there’s this huge, high-tech facility in the middle of nowhere. Every time I see it, I feel so proud of our fantastic team – and so hopeful about what this is going to do for our country…

Dr Bernie Fanaroff, director of Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa, is sitting in the busy SKA head office in Pinelands, Cape Town, talking about the remote site, 80km outside Carnarvon in Karoo, where the core of the mega-telescope is being built.

“We recently took the BRICS ministers there. They were all so excited. The British minister said: ‘we have to participate’ and then committed a million pounds…”

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