Magda attended most Council meetings in Cape Town, yet her excursions did not stop there. In November you will have found her visiting the Garden Route Centre, February in Durban to offer assistance with the Symposium, the Louis Trichardt Club in April, and Boyden in May and the OOG in June.
It is a pleasure to thank the following individuals for their contributions to the section in the year under review: Magda Streicher, Carol Botha, Richard Ford and Gary Lillis. Magda continues to be a stalwart of the Section and her strong, independent work is admirable.
The Johannesburg Centre again organized, arguably their most successful, ScopeX which was generously supported by South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA). Attendance figures were up and as usual there was a good list of speakers with all talks very well attended.
I have been appointed new director of the Double Star Section in July 2007. Therefore only the second half of 2007 can be reported on. During this time only one observation was received - from Magda Streicher.
Presentations on solar observations were presented at the Science Unlimited expo in Pretoria during March and in Pietermaritzburg during August. More than 2 000 school learners attended these presentations.
The past 12 months have been a good test period for the re-activated Imaging Section. Amongst the vast choice of activities and enthusiasm of interested members the Section has also identified the challenges and directions for improvement.
ASSA and its sections issue rewards to members who actively partake and submit their observations. These rewards will hopefully encourage recipients to continue their good work but also those who have made casual observations but did not send them in or others who are still considering it but have not yet got so far as actually doing some observing.
The proceedings were opened by the outgoing ASSA President, Mrs Magda Streicher, followed by the first keynote address. This was by Prof Phil Charles (Director of the SAAO) on the history of SALT since its inauguration.
Peter was born in Parkview, Johannesburg on 25 June 1920, the son of Basil Smits, a solicitor, and Zoe Ford, daughter of a Johannesburg pioneer and developer of Fordsburg, one of Johannesburg's first two residential suburbs (the other being Jeppe's Town).
In Part I of this article series (Spargo, 2008) we left the Hoba meteorite, no doubt quietly proud of its place in history as the most massive known object to have survived intact its plunge to Earth, in dignified repose in its partially excavated state in the bush in a remote part of a then relatively little-known territory, South-West Africa. The date was 1921 and only a handful of people, either in South-West Africa or the neighbouring Union of South Africa knew of its existence.
One could say that this book is about the attempts of astronomers (two in particular) to measure accurately the difference between two angles. A difference which turns out to be three one-hundredths of a second of arc (0.03'') - equivalent to measuring the width of a human hair from a kilometre away! The angles in question, called parallax, determine the distances to the nearest stars.