Gravitational wave astronomy

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Open Night on 22 Feb 2020
“Gravitational wave astronomy”


Members of the public are welcome to an Open Night at the SAAO in Cape Town on 22 Feb 2020, starting at 20h00. Professor Paul Groot (UCT/Radboud University, Netherlands) will present a talk titled Gravitational wave astronomy. This will be followed by a tour of the site and (weather permitting) star gazing.

Summary of the talk

Since 2015, we have been able to open up a completely new window on the Universe through the direct detection of gravitational waves using laser-interferometers. This has excited physicists and astronomers alike, as we now have a new way to determine some of the fundamental constants of nature, as well as a means to detect binary black holes and neutron stars. In the lecture, Professor Groot will go over the techniques and results of detecting gravitational waves as well as the efforts done in astronomy to also detect these events in electromagnetic waves, including the South Africa-based MeerLICHT telescope and the new BlackGEM array in Chile.


The Open Night will take place at the SAAO in Cape Town. The SAAO is located off Liesbeeck Parkway, next to the River Club.


Gates open at 19h30 and parking is available on site.