Cape Centre Newsletter, 15th May 2017

Dear Cape Centre members and friends,

Upcoming Events:

Cape Centre

17 (NOT 24) May, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Kate Storey-Fisher will present a talk entitled Physics in the Dark: The Missing Matter and Energy in the Universe. Kate is a research fellow in Astrophysics at the University of the Western Cape, and she will begin her Ph.D. in Physics at New York University in September. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, in Physics from Brown University, and she has also done research at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research interests are in the field of computational cosmology, studying the properties of dark matter and dark energy using numerical simulations, as well as topics in galaxy formation. In addition, she is passionate about science outreach and accessibility, in particular, making physics an inclusive space for women and traditionally underrepresented minorities. Since the 1930’s when physicists noticed that galaxies were moving too fast for their visible mass and later, when it was realized that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate, scientists have been trying to learn more about dark matter and dark energy. It is thought that 95% of the universe is made up of these mysterious phenomena which can be observed only indirectly and Kate will take us through their discovery as well as the latest efforts to determine their nature and what this implies for the future of the universe. She can be seen on YouTube giving a TED talk about cosmology at Brown University

14 June, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: To be announced

28 June, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Gerhard van der Poll will give a talk on electrons.

12 July, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Cape Centre AGM

V & A Waterfront Outreach

The next event is on 3 June 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 082-335-4851 / or the Cape Centre by replying to this email, if you would like to share the pleasure of seeing what a telescope can reveal of our solar system.

SAAO Open Nights and Public Events

27 May, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:  Blaine Lomberg (UCT Ph.D. student) will present a talk titled A robotic all-sky monitor to observe one star for one year.

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.

17 May, 17:00, SAAO Auditorium:  
Eric Harley FRSSAf, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town will speak on The White Rhinoceros. A problem in Conservation.The Royal Society Of South Africa And The Academy Of Science Of South Africa

Iziko Planetarium

The digital upgrade is nearly complete and the grand opening will be 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 later this year.



The latest issue of MNASSA, the monthly ASSA publication, can 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:


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *