n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Second Light : news notes




Six years ago, in November 2005, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) was inaugurated. In August the following year the first scientific results were reported by Dr Darragh O'Donoghue. It described a polar binary star system, containing a white dwarf with a very strong magnetic field, which strongly influences how the hot gases from its relatively ordinary companion reach the white dwarf surface. However, things did not continue so smoothly, and, as is typical with a complex scientific instrument, technical problems were encountered. A series of issues meant that serious science had to be put on hold as they were one by one investigated and resolved.


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