As of 16 July 2011 the membership of the national body stood at 241 including 13 Honorary Members. However the total number of members will now be revised upwards, considering that, under the new Constitution every paid up member of a Centre is a member of ASSA.
Observers actively contributing to the Section on are Magda Streicher, Richard Ford and Auke Slotegraaf. Several new observers are on the brink of active participation: these include Lynnette Foster, Hendrik van Rensburg, and Pieter Koornhof.
Once again there were no favourable minor planet events taking place over the areas covered by our observers in 2010. Also the weather conditions proved an obstacle for the observers in the Gauteng area, as it does in normal years for the coastal areas.
The ASSA Scholarship was established in 2000 to encourage the study of Astronomy at any Southern African university at the 2nd and 3rd year level. The Scholarship is funded by ASSA with occasional financial support from the ASSA Endowment Trust.
After seven years at the helm of the SAAO in South Africa, several farewell occasions were held for Phil and Anne Charles. Described here are two functions on two consecutive days, held at SAAO Sutherland and Cape Town respectively.
Observations using personal telescopes in light polluted skies in Kyalami, Johannesburg suggest that the Algol system DT Lup be re-classified as an oscillating eclipsing Algol system. Preliminary frequency calculations produce an oscillation frequency of ∼ 8.73 cycles day-1.
Measuring the distance to the Moon is not a very hard task for high school students and amateur astronomers. The article explains the measurement and the calculation details - for students of lower as well as higher secondary school levels. The article also aims to promote cooperation between Slovenian and South African amateur astronomers, as these two countries are very good observing points for the measurements required.
Satellites have to operate in a hostile space environment that poses numerous threats from natural space material and man-made space objects. The variability of the space weather environment and the proliferation of space debris constitute major hazards for spacecraft in Earth orbit. SumbandilaSAT, South Africa's micro-satellite, was built with Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) components and was launched in a bid to harness Earth observation applications for sustainable development. COTS components though cheaper, are more vulnerable to the effects of space weather than space-qualified components. Assessing the feasibility of this COTS-based approach by examining the in-orbit performance of SumbandilaSAT is therefore imperative to the development of future South African indigenous satellites.
The constellation Fornax was previously known as Apparatus Chemicus, translated as Chemische Apparat, Chymische Often and L'Apparat Chimique in 1782, in honour of the celebrated chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier.