Astronomy trip to South Africa

This summer I traveled to South Africa to take part in an astronomy conference in the Kruger National Park. South Africa has a strong background in astronomy and is home to many world leading telescopes, including the new MEERKAT radio telescope. My PhD supervisor used to be based in South Africa before he moved to Scotland, and he is still heavily involved with many of the projects and has lots of contacts there. The aim of the conference was to plan projects that compare MEERKAT data with models of galaxy evolution. During my visit I presented some of my work at the conference and met with other researchers. I also spent an extra week in Cape Town, where I visited the astronomy departments and worked on collaborations for our ongoing astronomy projects. I also got to see some of Cape Town and had some fun hiking with friends!

Group photo from the conference. I am in the front row, fourth from the right. It was a small group by design to encourage discussions and plan out collaborative projects.
Whilst at the conference we went on two game drives through the Kruger National Park. Here is the sunset on our evening drive!
Spotted on our morning game drive! Image credit: Sarah White

Presenting my work at the conference. Our research group works on simulations of galaxies; our last simulation project was called Mufasa and the latest simulation is Simba. Hakuna Matata!
On top of Table Mountain in Cape Town after hiking up with friends.
On the way down from Table Mountain, with the view of the ocean in the background.
Quite far from home! Spotted at the end of our walk up Table Mountain.
Outside the physics department at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town. I visited the department twice that week and also visited the South African Astronomical Observatory.
Met a penguin near Boulders Beach. This young penguin still has a tuft of fluffy baby feathers on the back of his head 🙂
We went wine tasting on the last day in some of the beautiful wineries around Cape Town.
Categories: Africa, Go Abroad Fund, South Africa

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