Director's message

Research performed by members in the Centre for Space Research (CSR) can be classified as observational and theoretical research in Astrophysics, Astronomy and Space Physics. A subsection also focuses on the development of innovative technologies. Members of this group are taking the lead in several international projects, constantly expanding our network of collaborators and increasing our research outputs considerably.

The CSR is an NWU Centre of Excellence, which reflects the quality of the research done over more than 50 years.

We aim to provide world-class training in fields such as multi-wavelength astronomy, star formation, astrophysics and space physics. Our MSc and PhD students students have the opportunity to become part of a team that includes world-renowned, as well as up-and-coming young researchers, and dedicated support personnel. Our former students are highly regarded locally and abroad

Research partnerships and collaboration

Members of the CSR are actively involved in the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the upcoming Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the MeerKAT radio Telescope and play a leading role in the forthcoming Cerenkov Telescope Array (CTA). In addition, the centre is the primary SA member of the highly successful High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S) collaboration. This telescope is currently the largest ground-based gamma-ray observatory in the world. Furthermore, CSR researchers established the SA Gamma-Ray Astronomy Programme (SA-GAMMA) to coordinate national research efforts in high-energy astrophysics activities which has 30 members from 5 national institutions. 
The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has the mandate to derive greater value from space science and technology for the benefit of the South African society. Members of the CSR are working closely with SANSA in the training of the next generation Space Scientists and collaborating on research projects. 
In 2015 the CSR became of two new nodes for the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). This is to ensure that the SA government’s investments in astronomy and space science bear fruit. The NWU’s node became fully operational in January 2016 with the first intake of post-graduate students in this programme.

Staff and students

The CSR have roughly 30 participants, consisting of about 18 full-time members with the rest postdoctoral fellows and extraordinary appointees. Currently the CSR has one National Research Foundation (NRF) A-rated, four B-rated, two C-rated researchers one P-rated researcher including one South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) research chair. Furthermore about 30 PhD and MSc students are enrolled in the various research fields. 

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