South African Astronomical Observatory

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An observatory at an altitude of 1770 m near Sutherland, Northern Cape, owned and operated by the South African government's National Research Foundation. It was founded in 1972 by combining the facilities of the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope (founded in 1820) and the Republic Observatory, Johannesburg (founded in 1905). A 1-m reflector was moved to Sutherland from the Cape and a 0.5-m reflector from the Republic Observatory, joining a new 0.75-m reflector. The 1.88-m Radcliffe Telescope, originally opened in 1948 at the Radcliffe Observatory, Pretoria, was moved to the SAAO in 1976. The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) opened at SAAO in 2005. The SAAO also hosts a station of the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network (BiSON), opened in 1990; the 1.4-m Japanese Infrared Survey Facility (IRSF), which began operation in 2000; a 0.5-m telescope of the Korean Yonsei Survey Telescopes for Astronomical Research (YSTAR) project, opened in 2002; a 1.2-m robotic telescope of the German Monitoring Network of Telescopes (MONET), opened in 2007; and SuperWASP-South, an array of eight wide-angle cameras of 0.1-m aperture for detecting transits of stars by extrasolar planets, which began operation in 2006. The headquarters of the SAAO are at the former Royal Observatory in Cape Town.

http://www.saao.ac.za/ Official observatory website.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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