Deep radio imaging by researchers in the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape has revealed that supermassive black holes in a region of the distant universe are all spinning out radio jets in the same direction - most likely a result of primordial mass fluctuations in the early universe. The results appear in a recent paper in MNRAS (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society).
On Wednesday 30 March, the Lord Provost of City of Edinburgh Council presented the Edinburgh Medal to Kevin Govender of the IAU's Office of Astronomy for Development and to Silvia Torres-Peimbert, President of the IAU, in a special ceremony at the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival.
As Director of the Historical Section of ASSA I would like to appeal to all members to donate items of historical value to the Society's Archive. Potentially valuable material will be lost forever if we do not identify and conserve it. For instance, minute books of meetings, newsletters, membership list of centres could be interest and value.
After 66 years of introducing South Africans to the wonders of the night sky, the 1891 Port Elizabeth Thomas Cooke & Sons 8-inch refractor has departed our shores. It's a leave-taking that inspires mixed emotions. On the plus side, the grand old telescope is to be restored to its original ex-works condition as centrepiece of a telescope history museum and working observatory in Napa County, California. It will be surrounded by late 19th century historic telescopes by Clark, Grubb, and Brashear. Most important, it will be used to introduce young people and the public to the wonders of astronomy. A more promising future could hardly be imagined.
This is a new section that I hope will encourage others to really start doing some astronomy. I think that there are enough spots around SA near enough to where we live to go out to do some observing. In addition some outreach activities are also welcome to be submitted. There are several new initiatives coming as well - so there is ample opportunity for members to get involved. In order to enable members to learn more about these various activities will have add some links that may prove to be useful.
Mystery is to be found everywhere, veiled in darkness and unknown to us. And so it is with the constellation of Lacerta, which is enveloped in mystery. Since I had the opportunity to study it when I visited an astronomy camp in the northern hemisphere, I decided I just had to unravel it.