Cape Centre News Letter, 24th November 2015

Dear Cape Centre members and friends,

Sky Guides

The 2016 Sky Guides have arrived and will be on sale for R45 each at our meetings. Unfortunately there are only enough copies for members who ordered by 30 September.

Upcoming Events

25 November, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Dr Adriana Marais will present a talk entitled Watch this space! Expanding our Imaginations and our World. A presentation on how we are living in a new  era of innovation in space exploration and how the possibility of contributing to the discovery of evidence of extra‐terrestrial life is what Adriana Marais finds most fascinating about being amongst the first Earthlings to move to Mars. Dr Marais has a PhD in Quantum Biology and is a member of the Quantum Research Group at UKZN. She is presently one of the 100 Mars One candidates in the running to move to the red planet in 2026.               

9 December, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Dr Ted Williams, Director of the SAAO, will give his annual overview followed by our year-end social evening. As usual we will provide some snacks and soft drinks and members are welcome to bring eats and drinks to add to the festivities.

SAAO Open Nights and Public Events

28 November, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:  Dr Nicola Clementel of the SAAO will present a talk entitled Eta Carinae in 3D without 3D Glasses.

12 December, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:   Dr. Jasper Horrell (SKA General Manager: Science Computing and Innovation) will present a talk entitled SKA – A Trigger for African Development.

Open night talks are followed by a tour of the site and star gazing, if weather permits.

Stargazing Weekends

4 – 6 December, Zoar Stargazing and Outreach Weekend: This a Cape Centre event in which we will have the use of George Abrahams’ house in Zoar in the Klein Karoo. Additional people can be accommodated in the guest house for as little as R100 per person per night, depending on the number attending. We have permission to use the lawn in front of the guest house for star gazing and have agreed to allow some of the local school children to look through the telescopes during the early part of one of the evenings. Contact us if you are interested in attending.


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, is planning to start a new 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 or

MNASSA can be read or downloaded from

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 and Wanted to Buy:


Doug Carlson has a Taurus Tracker III (as new, never used, for astrophotography with an SCT) for sale.  Anyone interested should contact Louis at Photographic Gear on 021 447 6276 office hours.

For more astronomical equipment for sale see the classifieds section of the Cape Centre website


In the centenary year of the South African identification of Proxima Centauri as our nearest star, the updated book by Dr Ian Glass is available for R80 + postage and can be ordered directly from him at or from Thembela Mantungwa

He has also written a book on the history of the Royal Observatory in Cape Town, its buildings, achievements, conservation, heritage and setting between the Liesbeek and Black rivers. It is called The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, it has 138 illustrations and can be obtained from Ian or Thembela or at any SAAO Open Night for R150. We will have copies for sale at our meetings.

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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.


Enrico Danieli has a Celestron 130mm EQ Newtonian, an Orion 8″ Tracking Dobsonian and a Short Refractor and wants to buy or build something larger. He asks if anyone has a larger dobsonian or a mirror for one. Contact him at if you can help.


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.

Cape Centre of  the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa

P O Box 13018, Mowbray, 7705, CAPE TOWN

088 123 1634 | starline: 088 131 1001 | |