The Southern African Large Telescope, otherwise known as SALT is located in Sutherland in the Northern Cape and is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a hexagonal mirror array 11 metres across. It will be able to record distant stars, galaxies and quasars a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye – as faint as a candle flame at the distance of the moon!
There are two guided day tours and 4 night tours per week. The tour includes a guided walk through the visitor centre as well as a guided tour of selected research telescopes including SALT.
HOW WE RATE IT & WHY WE LIKE IT
The Northern Cape is perfect for star gazing and learning about our solar system. If you’re curious to know our place in the galaxy then a visit to SALT is a definite for you! Sutherland is a town with about 3000 inhabitants and its remote location make its night skies among the world’s clearest and darkest. It’s also the coldest town in South Africa making it a perfect summer destination (unless you like a bit of snow, in which case Sutherland is good in winter too!).