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MeerLICHT: Scientist ears, eyes in the sky



Exploding stars, astrophysical transients and black holes are just a few of the questions scientists hope to solve with the new optical telescope MeerLICHT, which provides an optical view of the sky, as observed by the MeerKAT radio telescope.

MeerLICHT – which in Dutch means "more light" – is an optical telescope that simultaneously scans the southern sky with MeerKAT.

In a world first, it will create a combination in which astronomers simultaneously place stars and galaxies in two parts of the spectrum.

Scientists have described the project as the "eyes and ears" of the sky, with sea-light the eyes and sea-cat the ears.

As part of the project, the global scientific community has teamed up to explore the sky in a new way, while South Africa, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are working together to explore the universe with MeerLICHT and MeerKAT.

The sea light cost about 40 million rupees to build and see all the parties to make it a reality.

"Exploring exploding stars across the universe will take on a whole new dimension," said the University of Cape Town (UCT) Professor Patrick Woudt, Co-Principal Investigator of the MeerLICHT Telescope

Radboud University Professor Paul Groot, also a co-principal investigator, adding, "I am fascinated by all these explosions in the universe."

"This project is just a new way of looking at the universe with these two channels at the same time, essentially as our eyes and ears ; we (seaLIGHT) are the eyes.

"MeerKAT are the ears You get a better picture when you do that, and if you have both, you have a much better understanding," Groot said. When the MeerKAT plans were developed, he and Woudt thought it would be a good idea to connect an optical telescope to a radio.

What started out as an idea got them moving to build the seaLIGHT.

It took six years to complete and start the project. MeerLICHT will also be working with the largest telescope in Southern Africa (SALT).

"SeaLIGHT has a wide view of the sky and sees millions of stars, we are behind the few who show flare."

"When we find out which star it is, we can do a close-up with SALT. SALT has a smaller field of view, but much larger mirrors.

"There is more light in a detector, so we can send a signal to SALT at that very spot in the sky that something is happening.

" Sealight is discovered and with SALT we deepen, "Groot said. 1

9659002] Professor Rob Fender of Oxford University, also a co-principal investigator of the telescope, was excited about the inauguration and commencement of the telescope's operations.

"This is the beginning of a new phase of coordinated multi-wavelength research into the most extreme In addition to the fact that the MeerLICHT project is an independent project in combination with MeerKAT, it is also a prototype for the Black Gem project.

Groot explained that they had 15 telescopes.

in Chile, South Africa and New Zealand to monitor the southern sky around the clock.

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