Two women have reached for the stars and paved the cosmic path of inspiration for other African women fascinated by astronomy. They’ve been awarded for their exceptional spaces in science as part of the African Network of Women in Astronomy. One of these brilliant minds just so happens to belong to a local!
Both fall part of the ‘first ever African Women in Astronomy Awards,’ which were awarded in March this year.
Professor Renee Kraan-Korteweg, who is a senior research scholar at UCT, was awarded the senior astronomer award.
Professor Kraan-Korteweg has been well versed in high-profile roles. She led the Astronomy department at UCT for 10 years, and the Astronomy department at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico as Astronomy2024 reveals.
“Her research interests include unveiling the large-scale structure of the universe and understanding how it came to be. She is also a user of astronomical observations from various telescopes and has recently discovered a new supercluster of galaxies hidden behind the Milky Way galaxy,” the organisation adds.
The other African champion of Astronomy is Dr Marie Korsaga, the first Burkinabe woman to obtain a PhD in astronomy who is now a postdoctoral researcher at France’s Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, as well as a lecturer at the Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo in Burkina Faso.
If you’ve been inspired to get a little closer to the galaxies far far away, it might be time to venture to Observatory.
Ever wondered where Obs got its name from? It’s to do with its starry ‘centrepiece’, the South African Astronomical Observatory or SAAO. SAAO offers Open Nights where you can feel closer to the stars, thanks to various telescopes including the star of the show, the McClean telescope. You’ll also learn more about the great big beyond in the sky through astronomy and physics presentations.
- Where: Observatory Road
- When: Every second and fourth Saturday of every month
- Website: saao.ac.za
Picture: @saao_astro | Instagram