Hello there! I’m Jacinta Delhaize. Welcome to my website and blog.
I’m an astronomer (or astrophysicist, whichever you prefer!) My expertise is in observational radio astronomy. My research focuses on the study of galaxy evolution. I try to understand why and how galaxies have changed over the history of the Universe.
I am also the co-producer and co-host of a podcast called The Cosmic Savannah. It’s a fortnightly podcast about the awesome telescopes and astronomy research coming out of the African continent. No astronomy knowledge needed to listen. Check it out!
I am currently a South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town. I started the position in July 2018. Prior to that I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zagreb in Croatia for four years.
I completed my PhD in radio astronomy at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, and part-time at the University of Oxford. Prior to that I completed a Bachelor of Science with a physics major at the University of Western Australia.
The data I analyse mostly comes from large radio telescopes. At the moment I use data from MeerKAT. MeerKAT is one of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes and is located in the Karoo region of South Africa. I work with two major survey teams called LADUMA and MIGHTEE.
Other telescopes I’ve used throughout my career include the Parkes 64m dish, the Australia Telescope Compact Array and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. With these instruments we perform large-scale radio continuum and spectral line surveys of the sky and combine them with information from across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Outside of research, I’m very passionate about science communication, popularisation and outreach. I think it’s essential to make our science accessible to everyone: including the general public, students, media, policy makers and other scientists. This helps to promote an interest and appreciation for science, the scientific method and critical thinking – which all impact our every day lives. I believe that effective science communication can literally change the world!
If you’d like to know more about the many great reasons to communicate astronomy, and how this can have a very meaningful impact on the world, check out my blog post on the topic.
About the feature image
The feature image at the top of the page is from the Galactic All Sky Survey (GASS). It shows the 21cm emission of hydrogen gas along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. The survey was conducted with the Parkes radio telescope by Naomi McClure-Griffiths and team.
The colour in the image represents the velocity of the gas. And so this image shows light from hydrogen gas that is travelling towards and away from us. Hence it nicely matches the theme of `Travelling light’!
The purplish light you can see in the background is part of the Leading Arm of the Magellanic Stream – a huge stream of hydrogen gas getting ripped off the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds as they interact with the Milky Way.
I worked with this GASS data during some of my undergraduate/Honours research into the gas-to-dust ratio of the Magellanic Stream.
Image credit goes to S. Janowiecki. The image shown here is a subset of the original image.