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HIRAX TELESCOPE TO PROBE MYSTERIES OF DARK ENERGY AND FAST RADIO BURSTS
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is set to lead a global collaborative radio astronomy project that will conduct groundbreaking science in the field of astrophysics while building on South Africa's existing excellence in radio astronomy.

Located at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), South Africa's core site in the Karoo, the Hydrogen Intensity and Real Time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX) telescope will have important synergies with the 64-dish MeerKAT, the country's precursor to the SKA.

Jointly funded by UKZN, and the Department of Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation, HIRAX will be a compact radio telescope array of 1 024 six-metre dishes that will map about a third of the sky during its four years of observation.

The main goals of the project will be to study dark energy using hydrogen intensity mapping between 400 and 800 MHz, as well as to detect and localise fast radio bursts by using outrigger arrays throughout southern Africa.

The HIRAX project was launched by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, and UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, at the Coastland Umhlanga Hotel on Friday, 17 August.

 

 

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