superMIGHTEE Workshop held at Kruger National Park

Astronomers from India and South Africa descended upon the Kruger National Park to kick off the superMIGHTEE Workshop from 05 – 07 June 2019. superMIGHTEE is the joint exploration of the Deep Sky with uGMRT and MeerKAT, and evolved from a series of joint workshops co-sponsored by India’s Department of Science and Technology and South Africa’s National Research Foundation bilateral, under the auspice of the Indo-South African Flagship Program in Astronomy. The aim of the Indo-South African Flagship Programme in Astronomy is to significantly strengthen areas of cooperation in areas of strategic importance to both countries, particularly the GMRT-MEERKAT collaboration, leading to significant contributions towards SKA.

The upgraded GMRT (“uGMRT”) based in India is an SKA pathfinder, and the MeerKat based in South Africa is an SKA precursor telescope. The superMIGHTEE collaboration between the MeerKAT MIGHTEE project and colleagues at NCRA-TIFR enables Astronomers to co-observe the MIGHTEE deep fields with the uGMRT from 250-850 MHz. The aim is to build expertise in the scientific and technical directions towards deep continuum and polarisation science using the uGMRT and the MeerKAT. The superMIGHTEE project is therefore aimed at high sensitivity imaging with MeerKAT and uGMRT. The superMIGHTEE project locates itself under the MIGHTEE-GMRT, a Working Group that forms part of IDIA-supported Large Survey Projects,  and this Working Group is co-chaired by Prof. C.H. Ishwara Chandra (NCRA-TIFR) and Prof. Russ Taylor (IDIA).

This unprecedented dataset, as a result of the superMIGHTEE collaboration, will have a profound impact on how Astronomers understand star-forming galaxies evolve over cosmic time, as functions of stellar mass and environment; how the galaxies evolves; and how cosmic magnetic fields originate and evolve in clusters, filaments and galaxies.

The aim of the workshop was to provide an update on observations and data from uGMRT and MeerKAT. Topics that were discussed included data processing and technical challenges for high dynamic range imaging and joint analysis of data from uGMRT and MeerKAT. Participants also contributed to the workshop through their presentations on new machine learning, analytics algorithms and visualization techniques. The workshop concluded with discussions on joint scientific projects with the data, and planning and development for the project.

More information, including presentations and talks, are available on the workshop website.