Cape Centre News Letter, 12th April 2016

Dear Cape Centre members and friends,

We are very fortunate to have the use of the beautiful SAAO auditorium for our meetings but the SAAO has priority should they need it on one of our Wednesday evenings. Since we don’t have a suitable alternate venue we have to cancel our meeting if the auditorium is not available. This is occurring on 13 April (tomorrow) and also on 11 May. Our program for April and May will therefore be as follows:

Upcoming Events

13 April, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: NO MEETING

27 April, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Cape Centre member Dr Christian Hettlage of SALT will present a topical talk entitled ‘From Falling Apples to Gravitational Waves’.

11 May, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: NO MEETING

25 May, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Dr Sahal Yacoob of the UCT department of physics will present a talk on particle physics.

SAAO Open Nights and Public Events

23 April, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Dr Nathan Deg will present a talk entitled Discovering the Structure of the Milky Way.

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

Kirstenbosch Star Walks

These will take place every Saturday evening, weather permitting, from 19 March until 30 April. Contact Frank Jacobs 083 348 6764 or George Abrahams 083 400 0188 if you would like to assist. Call Starline 088 131 1001 to find out if the walk is going ahead or if it has been cancelled due to unfavourable weather.

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.


The Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa  is the ASSA official journal and publishes material of interest to professional and amateur astronomers. Case Rijsdijk, the editor, has started a section called “On the Bookshelf”. The aim is to highlight recent books that members have read and that they feel others might enjoy. He is not looking for a review, just a title, author and a few lines about both – the sort of stuff you find on the dust cover/cover. Send your contributions to Case at or

Iziko Planetarium: Check their website for information about their shows for all ages, events and courses. They also supply a useful sky map and summary of the evening skies for the current month

Items For Sale:


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  . We still have a copy which can be bought for R150 at a Cape Centre meeting.

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.

Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ Newtonian

This was an unwanted gift in February 2014, it cost R2950 new and has never been used. Lionel Veater, the owner, lives in the Strand, will accept a reasonable offer and can be contacted on 082 892 1520 or 021 853 5185


Don’t forget to look us up on Facebook and ‘like’ our page there if you have not done so yet.   We share a lot of information about events etc, but also some information of a general astronomy-interest nature on that page.

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.

Your Cape Centre Committee

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