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.
The visit to South Africa by Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte included a pivotal South African-Dutch data science partnership between key institutions from both countries bringing us closer to understanding the volume of data generated by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which was signed on Tuesday, 17 November 2015.
The SA professional astronomical community has grown enormously in recent years with the advent of SALT, SKA/MeerKAT/KAT and HESS (Namibia). In this article I have made an attempt to list the people involved, namely those with doctorates working in fields of astronomy and related technologies, cosmic rays, cosmology and space science. This was mainly undertaken to get some idea of the numbers.
This article continues the sequential numbering of reported fireball sightings from southern Africa, and covers fireballs observed during 2014 and 2015. By definition, a fireball is any meteor event with brightness equal to or greater than visual magnitude (mv) -3. The following events were reported to the author and details are reproduced as given by the observer. All times were converted to UT unless stated, and all coordinates are for epoch J2000.0.
In support of the efforts to document the architecture of the Royal Observatory at the Cape, historic material has been made available in digitized form by Auke Slotegraaf. I was working my way through some of this when I came across the following on page iii in Astronomical Observations made at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, in the year 1875, under the direction of Edward James Stone, "The "meridian mark" referred to in Table III, is on an undulation immediately to the east of the mountain called Blaauw Berg, and is situated some 13 miles north of the Observatory. It is a pillar built up to serve as a permanent meridian mark for the 10 feet Dolland's Transit..."
It seems that it was only yesterday that the 2013-2014 Observing Report was submitted, the 2014-2015 year has certainly flown by with plenty of observing opportunities, especially with load shedding during the evening.
The composition of some constellations can sometimes strike us as strange. The astronomers of old saw Auriga as a charioteer, and some saw a connection with a goat. Could the two have supported each other in the movement of the constellation?
The aim here to try to get readers to share their experience of "good reads" of popular science writing by some of the world's leading scientists. These are not reviews, just comments and pointers to enjoyable and informative writing.