The National Research Foundation announced on 31 July that Prof Nithaya Chetty has been appointed as Deputy Chief Executive of the National Research Foundation for Astronomy with effect from 1 October 2014. As such, he will be responsible for coordinating the national strategy for astronomy. This will include supervision of the astronomy national facilities and the SKA-SA Project, developing synergies between the various astronomy departments, the astronomical facilities and the community at large, promoting public awareness and liaising with international partners.
It is with a great sense of loss that we have to announce the passing of Dr. Mike Gaylard, Director of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, a National Facility of the National Research Foundation.
This article will cover the activities of the Cape Town MOONWATCH team that was situated in the grounds of the then Royal Observatory at the Cape (later the South African Astronomical Observatory) and operated from 1957 to about 1968.
On 5 July 2014 the six members of the Pretoria Centre of ASSA braved the light pollution of one of the shopping malls in Centurion to reach out to shoppers a la John Dobson and to show them the moon, Mars and Saturn. Although the centre hosts regular monthly public observing evenings, it was felt that we should take astronomy to the people rather than wait for the people to come to us. This was borne out with "Astronomy in the Mall" initiative.
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.
Fortunately the serpent we're dealing with in this article is known as a constellation, because let's face it, most of us are rather more than wary of real, living snakes that share the space on Planet Earth with us!