The note below is extracted from an e-mail sent to Willie Koorts by Dr Amanda Sickafoose, SAAO and MIT, after I had started getting the details of as many amateur Observatories in South Africa as possible (see Editorial). By coincidence this also ties up with a longer term strategy leading up to an ASSA Symposium in March 2018, whose theme will be: Amateur Astronomy in the Digital Data Age: How Amateurs can do real Science.
There was a time when enthusiastic, passionate and dedicated amateur astronomers, with modest, often 'home-made', equipment could contribute to 'real' astronomy through the discovery of Comets, Novae, SNe, work for the Minor Planet Centre, MPC and contribute to the American Association of Variable Star Observers, AAVSO. But the advent of a plethora of survey telescopes, digital technology and computer driven data reduction has all but nullified the amateur's ability to still contribute to such discoveries and data.
Cape Town, 12 December - The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) welcomes the 2016 Science Diplomacy Award given by the Department of Science and Technology as a result of the telescope consistently contributing to globally significant discoveries in astronomy. Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and build constructive international partnerships. The Science Diplomacy Awards recognise excellence and achievements in international scientific cooperation.
Centurion Planetary and Lunar Observatory
La Marischel Observatory
Henley on Klip observatory
The Telescope at the foot of Table Mountain
Fisherhaven Small Telescope Observatory
Weltevreden Karoo Observatory
Estimating Redshifts from Distant HI Galaxies with Bayesian Statistics
Dusty Star-Forming Galaxies at High Redshift
SAMI Galaxy Survey: Spectral Mapping of Galaxies by the Dozen
Observational Tests of SN Ia Explosion Models with a Complete Sample
Puzzles in Galaxy Scaling Relations
The Omega White survey for short period variable stars