Extracted from text ... Astronomy Africa (Pty) Ltd
Waterfall Park, Midrand
PO Box 71194, Bryanston 2021
Tel +27 (0) 11 312 0116
VAT No 4320218532
Opportunities for Astronomy Presenters & Telescope Operators
Astronomy Africa (Pty) Ltd (www.astronomyafrica.com) provides a range of astronomical products & services including private observatory projects, night sky events, astronomy (Sky Ranger) training courses, productions & sky lore theatre and travel programmes to premier sky viewing destinations in southern Africa.
The company is seeking the services of professional and amateur astronomers countrywide as astronomy presenters, telescope operators and assistants at night sky events and astronomy travel tours. ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa
Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
Vol 65 Nos 3 & 4 April 2006
mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4
Resignation of Auke Slotegraaf
Mr Auke Slotegraaf has resigned as editor of MNASSA and the Handbook (Sky Guide) as well as ASSA webmaster.
During Auke's editorship of the Sky Guide, it became an admired and successful publication, with a circulation in excess of 3000 copies.
He has been editor of MNASSA since February 1994.
We thank him for all the work he has done ..
Extracted from text ... 3
mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4
Notice of 7th ASSA Symposium and associated workshops
Call for Registration
for attending the 2006 ASSA Symposium has opened. Professional and amateur astronomers are welcome to attend the event, hosted by ASSA Bloemfontein Centre in association with Boyden Observatory. The Symposium will be held from 28 to 30 September 2006 (Thursday to Saturday), mainly at Boyden Observatory near the city of Bloemfontein.
The theme of the Symposium is: Serious Amateur Astronomy: Linking with Professionals. Amateurs the world over are in the process of embracing ..
Extracted from text ... april 2006 31
Square Kilometre Array
The January issue of the SKA newsletter, issued by the SKA project office in Dwingeloo, Netherlands, reveals that proposals have been received from four sources, Argentina & Brazil, Australia & New Zealand, China and South Africa & 6 other countries. It is stated that a ranking of the sites may become available by 1 September 2006.
The newsletter also describes a "Reference Design" for the instrument:
The SKA will be a radio interferometer array capable of imaging the radio sky at frequencies of 100 MHz to 26 GHz, and providing ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4 32
SALT Telescope update
Though many important milestones in the SALT project were reached in 2005, including "first light", first science and the inauguration of the telescope, much work remains to be done to achieve consistent image quality over the whole field, higher reliability and the commissioning of various important features that have not yet been completed.
While the way towards many of these goals is well-defined, the image quality remains a difficult issue. To ensure rapid progress in solving the remaining probems, top priority in assigning telescope time is being given ..
Extracted from text ... april 2006 33
Visitors' Observatory for Sutherland
With the tremendous public interest raised by SALT, day-visitor numbers in Sutherland have increased greatly. After many public requests for night visits, a schedule was introduced allowing public viewing on Saturday nights, using the 20-inch telescope. Initially, one night per month was set aside, but it was soon extended to every weekend, due to popular demand. The 30-inch, the only other telescope still fitted with an eyepiece, also had to be included for larger groups at times.
However, the situation was still not ideal for a number of reasons. ..
Extracted from text ... news notes
SuperWASP in Sutherland
The Southern station of the SuperWASP programme (Wide Angle Search for Planets) is now running at Sutherland (see cover picture) and is approaching fully robotic operation.
SuperWASP is run by a consortium of eight academic institutions: Cambridge University, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Keele University, Leicester University, Open University, Queen's University, Belfast, and St Andrew's University. Each station has an array of wide-angle CCD cameras that monitors the night sky for possible variations in the brightnesses of stars caused by planetary transits. Each camera has a field of ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4 34
Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill
A bill is to be placed before the South African Parliament to ensure the protection, preservation and maintainance of specific astronomical sites through legislative measures. "Astronomy" includes radio and optical astronomy besides magnetic observations.
The Bill envisages three types of areas: a "core" region around a site such as SAAO, Sutherland, or the Karoo Array Telescope, a larger "central" area and an even larger "co-cordinated" area. Strict provisions as to access and the generation of deleterious interference would apply to the core areas, somewhat less strict provisions ..
Extracted from text ... april 2006 35
Re: Crisis in Cosmology Conference
Hilton Ratcliff writes:
In the December issue of MNASSA, you carried a rebuttal by Dr Bruce Basset of my report on the first Crisis in Cosmology conference (MNASSA, October 2005). Whilst I truly welcome legitimate criticism, certain remarks made by Dr Basset constitute a slur on my personal character and integrity, and insinuate that I was somehow manipulative and dishonest in my quotation of Dr Glenn Starkman and reference to the findings of Dr Joao Magueijo.
Please allow me to put the record straight. Dr Starkman was invited ..
Extracted from text ... april 2006 37
Southern African Fireball Observations 2005
T P Cooper
Director, Comet and Meteor Section
Catalogue of Recent Sightings
This article continues the sequential numbering of reported fireball sightings from southern Africa, and covers fireballs observed from January to December 2005. By definition, a fireball is any meteor event with brightness equal to or greater than visual magnitude -3. The following events were reported to the author and details are reproduced as given by the observer. All times were converted to UT, and all coordinates are for epoch J2000.0.
Event 169 - 2002 December 1 - ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4 40
Report on CCD activities at the Bronberg Observatory (CBA Pretoria) in 2005
The Bronberg Observatory (25? 54' 32 S, 28? 26 18 E, alt. 1590 m / updated values) is situated 40 km south-east of Pretoria, on plot 39, Rietfontein JR 395, which is located on top of the Bronberg ridge, which stretches from Pretoria to just East of the observatory.
The Observatory, which is run by LAG (Berto) Monard, is also the dedicated African participant in the global CBA (Centre for Backyard Astrophysics) network under the name ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4 46 Appendix: List of relevant publications in 2005Title: Discovery of a Promising Candidate of WZ Sge-Type Dwarf Novae, ASAS 160048-4846.2: Evidence for Double-Peaked Humps.Authors: Akira Imada, L.A.G. Berto Monard, submitted to PASJ.Title: The 2003/2004 superoutburst of SDSS J013701.06-091234.9.Authors: Akira Imada, Taichi Kato, Kaori Kubota, Makoto Uemura, Ryoko Ishioka, Seiichiro Kiyota, Kenzo Kinugasa, Hiroyuki Maehara, Kazuhiro Nakajima, L.A.G. Berto Monard, Donn R. Starkey, Arto Oksanen, Daisaku Nogami. Accepted for PASJ.Title: Superhumps in Cataclysmic Binaries. XXV. q_crit, epsilon(q), and Mass-Radius.Authors: Joseph Patterson, Jonathan Kemp, David Harvey, Robert Fried, Robert Rea, Berto Monard, Lewis Cook, ..
Extracted from text ... april 2006 47
The Mount Wilson Observatory (Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Vol 1)
by Allan Sandage
Cambridge University Press 2004
Hard Cover Pp xiii + 647
85 line diagrams 101 half-tones
Weight: 1.16 kg
ISBN 0 521 83078 8
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), the great steel magnate, had strong ideas about the responsibility of the wealthy to make use of their fortunes for the good of mankind, and in the foundation of the Carnegie Institution of Washington he put his beliefs into practice. George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) had the kind ..
Extracted from text ... april 2006 51
Revolutionaries of the Cosmos The Astro-Physicists
by Ian S Glass
Oxford University Press 2005
Hardback, pp xiii+336, numerous halftones and line drawings
Size: 234mm x 156mm
Price: R675, ?35.00
Revolutionaries of the Cosmos comprises the biographies of eight astronomers, who, since the end of the Renaissance, have had a profound influence on astronomy and particularly on physical astronomy or as it is now known, astrophysics (a term introduced in the late 19th century), hence the sub-title: The Astro-Physicists. These eight, as chosen by the author for ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4 54
Africa's Giant Eye: Building the Southern African Large Telescope
Text: David Buckley, Marguerite Lombard, Mike Lomberg, Kobus Meiring, Ethleen Lastovica and Anne Rogers
Photographs: Nick Aldridge
Managing editor: Roelien Theron
Publisher: SALT Foundation 2005
ISBN: 0 620 34783 X
Hardback, pp 192, 369 colour photographs, many full page Size: 293mm x 240mm
Weight: 1.18kg Price: R320
Africa's Giant Eye is a detailed photographic record of the construction of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Superbly illustrated with page ..
Extracted from text ... mnassa vol 65 nos 3 & 4 56
the Heavenly Fly
by Magda Streicher
The Southern Cross is the pride of our Southern Hemisphere, and not only does its longest axes direct the way to true south, but it also shows the way to the constellation Musca, its southern neighbour. Musca the Fly, is the only constellation named after an insect. Johann Bayer, the German lawyer who introduced the system of identifying stars within a constellation using Greek letters, originally named this constellation (in 1603) as Apis. Edmund Halley changed the name to Musca ..