The SAAO owns and operates four major telescopes on a barren plateau outside the Karoo town of Sutherland – the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the 1.0m and 1.9m telescopes and Lesedi. These are all optical telescopes, which gather ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light from distant stars and galaxies to better understand our universe.

Hosted instruments

Besides for the SAAO’s flagship telescopes, the Sutherland facility houses a number of other telescopes and instruments. Some, like MeerLICHT, are operated by SAAO, while others are hosted here but operated by other research organisations such as the South African National Space Agency, or one of several international astronomy institutions.

See Sutherland in Virtual Reality

Experience our world-class telescopes in the Karoo in fully immersive 3D

Explore Now