Press Releases


The mysterious shell of dense gas encircling Betelgeuse prompts an investigation

11 August 2014
Betelgeuse's complex environment

Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion, located approximately 600 light years from us, and is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It is a colossal star with a radius about 1000 times that of our own sun; if it were a …

The largest Full Moon for the Year

9 August 2014
Image of the Moon taken over Table Mountain, credit: Dr Steve Potter, SAAO.

Did you know that the Moon travels around the Earth in an oval shaped or elliptical orbit rather than a circular one? The average distance between the Earth and Moon is 384,400 km. However, because of its elliptical path, the distance to the Moon varie …

First in the Southern Hemisphere: South Africa gets direct access to international astronomy database

3 June 2014
A view into CHPC's server room

The South African Astroinformatics Alliance (SA3) on behalf of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) is pleased to announce the release of the VizieR Catalogue Service mirror in Cape Town …