|Phone:||+27 (0)23 571-2436|
|Fax:||+27 (0)23 571-1413|
The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and among the largest in the world. It has a hexagonal primary mirror array 11 metres across, comprising 91 individual 1.2m hexagonal mirrors. Although very similar to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) in Texas, SALT has a redesigned optical system resulting in a larger field of view and effective collecting area.
SALT can detect the light from faint or distant objects in the Universe, a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye - as faint as a candle flame would appear at the distance of the moon. The telescope and instruments are designed to operate from the near ultraviolet to the near infrared (320 to 1700 nm), and offer some unique or rare capabilities on a telescope of this size.
Tour guides will meet you at the Visitor Centre at the booked times - Please be punctual!. If you arrive early please wait at the Visitor Centre for your guide. This is a secure site and all other buildings are off limits to the public. In an emergency you may call 076 900 0308. Day tours - Day tours can be done as fully guided tours or basic tours.
Fully Guided tours (Guided walk through the Visitor Centre as well as a guided tour of selected research telescopes including SALT)
Monday to Saturday: 10:30 and 14:30 Fee: R30.00 per person
Basic tours (Self-guided tour of Visitor Centre and a basic guided tour of SALT)
Saturdays and Public Holidays: 08h00 to 16h00 (every hour on the hour)
Fee: R20.00 per person
Night tours - Night tours include the viewing of interesting objects in the sky through two dedicated visitor telescopes, 16" Meade and 14" Celestron. Note that visitors cannot visit any of the research telescopes at night, not even SALT. The tour can last about 90 minutes, but can be aborted due to cloud, mist or strong wind. In the case of bad weather the guide will take you to the Visitor Centre for a movie in case it clears up later.
DO NOT DRIVE UP THE ROAD LEADING TO THE DOMES. This is a "NO LIGHTS" research area. International and Local Astronomers are at work!
The visitors’ dome is very near the Visitor Centre and not up on the hill.
The tours are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. When booking tours, visitors will be notified of their tour starting time.
Fee: R50.00 per person