On 17 March the MeerKAT/SKA site was opened for a tour by members of the academic community. The site has been designated a "National Key Point" and access is always likely to be restricted in the interests of avoiding Radio-Frequency Interference (RFI). The official arrangements were rather expensive but we obtained permission (along with several others, as it turned out) to travel independently to join the group in Carnarvon. The distance from Cape Town is around 600 km and it took us about 6½ hours via Clanwilliam and Calvinia to get there on Sunday 16th March, under light traffic conditions and only a few "stop-gos".
This is the second article of what is planned to be several covering the history of amateur satellite tracking in South Africa during the period 1957 to the present. It will concentrate almost exclusively on optical tracking rather than being a complete record of optical and radio tracking and will only handle observers who reported scientific data to the various tracking networks. Besides Moonwatch several other organisations were interested in amateur optical observations. Only those involving South Africa will be briefly described.
The traditional 'City of Roses' and judicial capital of South Africa, Bloemfontein, is set to become famous for another reason - the first digital planetarium in sub-Saharan Africa. This is now, besides the roses, a must visit city. Any traveller in South Africa who misses this new digital planetarium will be doing him or herself a great disservice. It is even worth a detour along the road between Cape Town and Gauteng.
The constellation Leo possesses a measure of dignity and justifiably reflects a true mental picture of the animal it has been named after. In nature the lion is regarded as the king of the animal kingdom, so the presence of a lion constellation should not be an unusual idea. The image itself is easily recognisable and in some ways brings to mind the lion image found in Egyptian records. From the southern skies the image is seen upside down, but that should not deter us from admiring it, as the objects (mainly galaxies) found within the constellation, bring ample reward.