William Gordon Pearson died in Pinelands on 17 October 2012 at the age of 73. Affectionately known as Billy, Bill or sometimes Willy by colleagues and friends, but his family called him William. He was born with scoliosis, but never let this physical disability stand in his way to do what he wanted. He certainly never made it an excuse for not doing anything. To all who knew him, Billy was a special person.
Roughly one hundred years ago a unique event took place in South Africa. An advertisement was placed in a Cape Town newspaper calling on all interested parties to attend a meeting in order to establish an astronomical society. This was to be the first ever astronomical society in South Africa! 2012 is the centenary of this first astronomical society in South Africa.
During the years 1963 to 1964 my father was employed as a welder for the construction company which built part of the N12 road from Beaufort West to Klaarstroom. The workshops and living quarters were located about 1 km from the quaint little outpost of Zeekoegat (also spelled Seekoeigat).
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) celebrates 50 years this year. Quoting from their website: "It all began in 1962 [on 5 October] with the signing of the ESO Convention - the culmination of the dream of leading astronomers from five European countries, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden." However, seven years of history, all involving South Africa, were excluded from this celebration.
These form an important part of a research facility, often as a sort of prepublication discussion or a discussion of an individual's current research, and as such it is virtually impossible to "publish" this material. However by recording the topics discussed in the form below does indicate to those, who are unable to attend, what current trends are and who has visited to do research: it keeps everyone 'in the loop' so to speak.
On the north-eastern edge of the well-known Orion constellation the Monoceros unicorn gallops on in the direction of Gemini the Twins. The constellation lacks stars brighter than magnitude 4, but is blessed with beautiful nebulae and star clusters. Various myths surround the reflection of the image, one of which is the misinterpretation of what we know today as the rhinoceros.