Ms Vhuthu Miranda Tshilengo from the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture has been invited to participate as an ASPIRE Summer Research Training Student, staying in Amsterdam for six weeks from June 28, 2024, to August 9, 2024, at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The ASPIRE (Astrophysics Summer Programme for International Research Experience) in Amsterdam offers individual research projects to a highly selective group of students, supervised by the staff. This six-week on-site programme in Amsterdam is designed for highly motivated students to engage in cutting-edge astronomy research at the Anton Pannekoek Institute (API), University of Amsterdam.

The programme aims to provide students with hands-on astronomical research experience at a world-class institute and assist them in launching their careers in science and other fields. Participants get the opportu-nity to learn new research skills and receive guidance and mentorship from an assigned advisor.
Ms Vhuthu is a young woman from Tshilamba, Mutale, near Thohoyandou who completed her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Venda in 2020, followed by an Honours degree in Physics in 2021. She began her Master of Science in Physics at the University of Venda in 2022, focusing on Radio Astronomy, and is currently in the final year of her Master’s programme, completing her project.

Her Masters research project utilises existing MeerKAT data from the MHONGOOSE large survey project, which is stored on the Inter-University Institute for Data-Intensive Astronomy’s (IDIA) federated research cloud. She conducts commensal searches for radio transients and variables under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Woudt from the University of Cape Town and Prof. Eric Maluta from the University of Venda. These commensal transient surveys with radio imaging require substantial computing power, data storage, and time. They are crucial for astronomers to gain new insights into time-domain radio astronomy, particularly in discovering faint radio transients and variables.

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