The MeerLICHT telescope was inaugurated by the Director General of South Africa's Department of Science and Technology (Dr Phil Mjwara) on Africa Day 2018 [25 May]. It is ready to observe the southern skies and will join MeerKAT to scan the southern skies at optical and radio wavelength simultaneously, in search of the most energetic astrophysical events in the Universe.
Ready to observe the southern skies
Over the past months MeerLICHT has been performing many commissioning tests, including the transition to remote observing. The telescope is ready to start observing the southern skies.
MeerLICHT installation in Sutherland
On 7 July 2017, the MeerLICHT telescope arrived at the Sutherland station of the South African Astronomical Observatory. The telescope was lifted into the dome under perfect weather conditions.
On Monday 30 January 2017, the MeerLICHT telescope and counterweight were lifted into the observatory dome of the Radboud University, where the telescope and counterweight were connected to the telescope mount. Over the coming month, extensive testing will be performed including on-sky observations.
Work on the cooled counterweight of MeerLICHT is progressing very well at Radboud University in Nijmegen. The MeerLICHT electronics will be housed in the counterweight of the telescope where excess heat will be removed through a water cooling system.
The MeerLICHT telescope mount – produced by FORNAX in Hungary – has arrived in Nijmegen and was lifted into one of the observatory domes on 3 October 2016 for extensive testing, and integration with the MeerLICHT telescope.