Transits of Venus are rare events, at best two per lifetime! Only seven of these rare events have been witnessed since the invention of the telescope. The previous Transit of Venus took place on 8 June, 2004, (see MNASSA Vol. 63, Nos 7 & 8, August 2004) which was preceded by the pair of appearances on 9 December 1874 and 6 December 1882. The next pair will occur on 10-11 December 2117, and in December 2125.
"We have always said that we are ready to host the SKA, and the world has listened to us," Ms Naledi Pandor, South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology said at a crowded media briefing on 25 May 2012 in Pretoria. Earlier that day the SKA Organisation announced that a majority share of the iconic SKA telescope would be built in South Africa, with the lion's share of the dishes and dense aperture array destined for the Northern Cape Province. Some dishes and the low-frequency array will be built in Western Australia.
On 25 May 2012 the Members of the SKA Organisation announced that the SKA telescope would be split over Africa and Australia, with a major share of the telescope destined to be built in South Africa. Prof Justin Jonas, Associate Director: Science and Engineering at SKA South Africa answers some FAQs regarding the outcome of the SKA site bid and the future of the SKA.
Putting a satellite in orbit is only half the job. For the satellite to be of any use it is necessary to recover information from the satellite which means one needs to know where the satellite is at any instance. This is known as satellite tracking and can be done in various ways.
The first photographically produced catalogue of stars, the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung (CPD), was the brainchild of David Gill, Her Majesty's Astronomer at the Cape in the years 1879-1907. It covered the whole sky south of 19 degrees south declination and included 454 875 stars. The CPD camera made use of a standard Dallmeyer portrait lens of 6 inches aperture and 54 inches focus, giving it a field of 6 degrees square.
When visiting the Sutherland Observatory you are astounded by the sheer number of domes and hosted experiments populating the plateau today. The three domes present during the official opening of the Observatory on 15 March 1973 have since grown to 20. Although the number of hosted experiments have only increased from two to six, they got much more sophisticated. This article gives an overview of the facilities on the Sutherland hilltop today.
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.
If we take the time to look up at the Milky Way during our southern winter it is such a privilege to be able to revel in the wealth of stellar beauty, and of course our eyes would also be exploring the hub of what forms the centre of our galaxy. Constellations like Sagittarius and Scorpius, which take pride of place, sometimes overwhelm the lesser known constellations suspended at the bright fringes of the Milky Way hub.
One such constellation is Scutum, which can truly boast objects of wonder to please the eye.