The Workshop on Astronomy between China and South Africa held in Cape Town

By invitation from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa, a delegation of nine Chinese experts in Astronomy led by Prof. Hao Jinxin, the Vice Director of NAOC, and Prof. Shen Zhiqiang, the Vice Director of SHAO had a friendly visit to South Africa from 16th to 20th March. During these days, a bilaterally workshop was held in South Africa SKA center in Cape Town.

More than 30 experts and officials from China and South Africa attended the workshop, such as the Science and Technology Counselor of Chinese Embassy in South Africa Mr. Huang Wei, the Deputy Director of Research and Development Department of Ministry of Science and Technology of South Africa Dr. Val Munsami, the Director of Group Executive in Astronomy of NRF Prof. Nithaya Chetty, and the Project Director of SKA South Africa Prof. Bernard Fanaroff.

They had very efficient discussions in wide fields, including Radio Astronomy, Optical and Infra-red Astronomy, Gamma and X-ray Astronomy, Computational Astrophysics, Virtual Observatory, Human Capacity Development and Education, Science Engagement and Public Outreach etc. Especially, since China and South Africa both participate in the large international cooperation project Square Kilometer Array (SKA), and South Africa is one of the sites to build SKA, therefore, China and South Africa will have deep collaboration on this project, as well in the related fields.

This is a very successful workshop, the two sides agree to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) about collaborations in 11 fields including the South Africa Large Telescope (SALT), test array of MeerKAT, African VLBI Network (AVN), Megadata, Virtual Observatory and so on. The Chinese delegation also visited South Africa Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), and the constructing site of SKA.

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