“Laduma” (literally, “it thunders” in the Zulu language) is the unique exclamation used by South Africans to celebrate a goal scored in football (soccer). We have chosen LADUMA as our survey’s name to highlight the unique investment South Africa is making in the construction and operation of MeerKAT as well as our ambitious goal of detecting neutral hydrogen in emission out to redshifts > 1. In a neat coincidence, because the field of view of the MeerKAT antennas increases at lower frequencies, the cosmological volume that will be probed by our survey has a shape resembling the vuvuzela horns that define the sound of South Africa for football fans around the world!

The Survey

The LADUMA survey was reconfirmed (by an international review panel in June 2017) as one of the three top-ranked Large Survey Projects to be performed on the MeerKAT radio interferometer* (a precursor instrument for the Square Kilometre Array, SKA).

The survey will be the deepest neutral hydrogen survey to date and will use 3424 hours to observe a single pointing encompassing the Extended Chandra Deep Field South (ECDF-S) with the aim to observe neutral hydrogen in galaxies out to redshifts > 1.

For more detailed information on the survey details and headline science goals, see:

S. Blyth, A.J. Baker, B. Holwerda, et al., Proceedings of MeerKAT Science: On the Pathway to the SKA (2016)

Observations are ongoing and the first data release for LADUMA is expected soon!

*The MeerKAT telescope is operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO; www.ska.ac.za), which is a facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF), an agency of the Department of Science and Innovation.