n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - IGY Reminiscences : satellite tracking




Dr William Stephen Finsen was Chief Assistant of the then Union Observatory in Johannesburg. In 1956 he became Union Astronomer and eventually the one and only Republic Astronomer when South Africa became a Republic in 1961. These reminiscences are interesting for the background detail he gives, see article in this issue on "Moonwatch in South Africa". His remark that he "... was not prepared to see the Observatory turned into a satellite station..." came after the International Geophysical Year (IGY) was over. His feelings were almost prescient, echoing those of many of the astronomical community today, who don't see astronomy being a "space science"!


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