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Readers from a variety of backgrounds may enjoy Origins, an award-winning multimedia site published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in April 2018. Created with general audiences in mind, this engaging and highly visual project focuses on three different aspects of "the quest to understand our beginnings -- of our universe, of life on Earth, of our species," through the university's research partnerships with South African institutions and scientists. In the first chapter, readers will learn about the South African Large Telescope (SALT), "the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere," which astronomers use to study how galaxies evolve. In the second chapter, geologists from UW-Madison and the University of Johannesburg study uniquely well-preserved ancient rocks that may shed light on the origins of Earth's first oxygen. The third chapter focuses on anthropologists researching a region known as the Cradle of Humankind and unearths clues about early hominids that contribute to our understanding of our own species' beginnings. Each interactive chapter is accompanied by beautiful photographs and videos, and shares stories of the people and places behind the science as well as of the research itself. While Origins is viewable on mobile devices, it is well worth visiting on a computer for the full effect.
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