In a news conference given at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC on 11 February it was announced that Gravitational Waves had been detected for the first time. These had been predicted by Einstein just 100 years ago as a consequence of General Relativity, in papers published by the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin but he had recognized that they would be extremely feeble and difficult to observe.
During the ongoing Backyard Observatory Supernova Search (BOSS), one of its members, Peter Marples, discovered a possible bright supernova, using data from Loganholme Observatory, Queensland, Australia NGC5128 is one of the brightest galaxies in the sky and is a peculiar elliptical with a prominent dust lane running across it. It has an active nucleus and prominent radio jets.
One of the bugbears faced by astronomers interested in studying the distribution of galaxies over the whole sky is the Milky Way - our own galaxy! Unfortunately it hides a large part of the distant universe behind its gas, dust and stars. The part of the sky obscured in this way is known as the Zone of Avoidance. For many years there have been indications of substantial numbers of galaxies hidden from us in this region, including those contributing to a hypothesized "Great Attractor" that affects the gravitational field felt by nearby galaxies.
The medal will be jointly awarded to Kevin Govender from IAU's Office of Astronomy for Development and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on Wednesday 30 March at the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival, to recognise their wide-reaching contribution to science. It is awarded jointly for the creation and practical establishment of the Office of Astronomy for Development, which integrates the pursuit of scientific knowledge with social development for and with those most in need. Under the pioneering stewardship of Kevin Govender, the Office of Astronomy for Development, hosted at the South African Astronomical Observatory in partnership with the National Research Foundation and the South African Department of Science and Technology, has successfully harnessed astronomy in the service of global education and capacity building.
A Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA)-led consortium has received $2,251,920 (more than R40,3 million) from the European Union Horizon 2020 Funding to undertake the detailed design of the SKA1_MID infrastructure and power elements in South Africa. The announcement, which was made yesterday in Manchester in the UK, will see a total award amount of $5M by the European Union's Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.
PSR J1723-2837, a 1.86 millisecond pulsar (MSP) is one of the growing populations of MSP pulsars with a non-degenerative companion star of mass 0.2 - 0.4 Mʘ , also known as Redbacks (RBs), in a ~15 hour orbital period. The presented paper reports on photometric results obtained on the ~16 magnitude companion to PSR J1723-2837. The optical light curve of the companion was intensively monitored for a period of one year.
A steady state was identified, dominated by ellipsoidal variation, a common signature to a number of RBs followed by a transitional period of asymmetric phase luminosity during 2014. Most unexpectedly was the development of a presumably asynchronous rotating spot in 2015 which was observed until the end of 2015 when observations ceased.
The Cancer constellation has always interested me, not only because it is my "so-called" zodiacal, but also because the position of the constellation does represent a story regarding the position of the stars night sky the image is outstanding, with the crab's faint little body marked, of course, by the well-known star cluster Messier 44.
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.
This is the biography of a remarkable person who achieved fame in both the scientific and the political life of South Africa. AW Roberts, though he came from a relatively poor Scottish family, was bright and received a good education. He grew up a liberal Presbyterian and was to spend most of his life educating, Europeanizing, and championing the rights of "native" South Africans. In middle age he came to represent their interests to a politically conservative regime that could not accept the direct involvement of black people.