Cape Centre News Letter, 12th June 2017

Dear Cape Centre members and friends,

Upcoming Events:

Cape Centre

14 June, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Carl Lindemann of the Austin Astronomical Society in Texas will give a talk entitled Austin Astronomical Society: Preparing for the Next Generations. Although the AAS is the largest such organisation in North America it faces exactly the same challenges as the Cape Centre. Light pollution from the rapidly expanding city is affecting both amateur and professional observers, making it increasingly difficult to find suitable dark sites. They also face the problem of the ‘greying of the hobbyists’ and have been looking at ways of attracting and retaining younger members. Carl has been at the eyepiece since receiving a 60mm refractor for Christmas in 1968, the year when Apollo VIII circled the moon. He recently completed his term as vice president of the AAS and is currently living in Cape Town, writing a memoir. He is passionate about astronomy and astrophotography and we hope his talk will stimulate ideas and discussion about the way forward for the Cape Centre.

21 or 28 June depending on the availability of the auditorium during the Winter School. : 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Gerhard van der Poll will present a talk on electron spin.

12 July, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Cape Centre AGM. Once again we appeal for volunteers to serve on our committee, or to help in whatever way you can.

V & A Waterfront Outreach

The event on 3 June was cancelled due to heavy cloud and rain. The next one will be on 1 July, weather permitting, and all members and friends are invited to participate. It is not necessary to own a telescope, to be an astronomy expert or to attend every month. Contact Eddy Nijeboer on or reply to this email, if you would like to interact with members of the public and enjoy their excitement and amazement on looking through a telescope.

SAAO Open Nights and Public Events

24 June, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:  Dr. Kurt van der Heyden will present a talk titled Exploring the Universe through Deep Radio Continuum Imaging.

8 July, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:  Dr. Yabebal Fantaye (AIMS) will present a talk titled How do we measure the size, weight, and age of the Universe?.

All open night talks will be followed by a tour of the site and star gazing if weather permits.

The Royal Society Of South Africa And The Academy Of Science Of South Africa

14 June, 17:00, SAAO Auditorium:  Dr. Robin Catchpole, Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and retired senior astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, will present a talk entitled From Here to the Edge of the Observable Universe.

UCT Centre for Extramural Studies

15 July, 18:00, LT3 Kramer Building, Middle Campus UCT: Dr Robin Catchpole will present a talk entitled Asteroids and Impacts: Should we Worry? What can we Do? R100 full fee, R50 staff, R30 students. Contact 021 650 2888 or

Iziko Planetarium

Cape Centre committee members were treated to a spectacular preview of the new digital upgrade at the opening ceremony on 27 May. Some exciting new shows will demonstrate its enhanced capability including Asteroid Mission Extreme, To Space and Back and Tycho to the Moon. Tycho is designed for young children but can be enjoyed by adults. Watch their website for details  As Elsabe Uys promised at our year-end function, there will be a free show for Cape Centre members, so watch this space!



The latest issue of MNASSA can now be downloaded from

What’s Up:

Consult the ASSA website, the Cape Centre Facebook page.  or the SAAO What’s Up page  for observing highlights this month.


The SAAO Viewing the Sky page contains a wealth of general information about observing, including a list of interesting objects in the Southern sky, calendars of solar and lunar information including eclipses and a page of useful websites.

Items For Sale:


Strand area.  Nexstar 5SE with extra eyepieces and filters. Excellent condition, hardly used. R11 000 ono. Contact Claire or Leon on 083 607 3081


Dr Ian Glass is an authority on the history of the SAAO and of astronomy in South Africa and his recently updated book on the identification of Proxima Centauri as the nearest star to the sun, as well as his beautifully illustrated The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope can be ordered directly by emailing or from Thembela Mantungwa at

Cape Centre Mugs

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launching of the Hubble Telescope we have printed new mugs with 25 spectacular images. They are available to members for R70.

Lost and Found:

An attractive ornamental plate was left in the auditorium after the 2016 year-end function.

Reply to this email if you think it could be yours.

Please let us know if there is news that you may be aware of and that may also interest our other members.  Direct your mail at the general Cape Centre e-mail address and we’ll be happy to consider your item for inclusion.

Reply with subject ‘Unsubscribe’ to be removed from this mailing list.

Cape Centre of  the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
Starline: 088 131 1001 |

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