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A new telescope dubbed the "eye of the MeerKAT array" has been launched at the Southern African Astronomical Observatory near Sutherland, a development that is expected to provide new insight into fleeting astronomical events like exploding stars and fast radio bursts. The MeerLICHT optical telescope will simultaneously scan the southern skies with the MeerKAT radio telescope near Carnarvon, giving scientists the unique ability to study stars and galaxies with two parts of the electromagnetic spectrum at the same time. MeerKAT is a 64-dish array that is the precursor to the Square Kilometre Array, which will be the world’s biggest and most sensitive radio telescope once it is completed. The MeerLICHT project is a South African, Dutch and UK collaboration that dovetails with SA’s multi-wavelength astronomy strategy, Department of Science and Technology director-general Phil Mjwara said at the launch of the telescope on Friday. "Through this strategy we hope to take maximum advantage ...

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