Cape Centre News Letter, 26 January 2015

Dear Cape Centre members and friends,

Upcoming Events

28 January, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Eddy Nijeboer will give a talk on the tour to Carnavon/SKA and Sutherland organised by Kechil Kirkham and Chris de Koning in November last year. Participants were able to see parts of the Meerkat Radio telescope which might not be open to the public again, as well as tours of SALT and other telescopes on the Sutherland plateau.


11 February, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Dr Michael Kosch, a distinguished South African academic who has over-wintered a number of times at the SANAE base in Antarctica and who currently holds the position of Chief Scientist at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) will give a talk entitled Sprites in Space.


25 February, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Prof. Guy Midgley, a leading climate change scientist and expert in the field of biodiversity will give a talk on the role of satellites in monitoring global temperature change as well as estimated species extinction and its effect on biodiversity. Prof. Midgley has had a distinguished academic career and was part of an international team who were awarded the Nobel prize in 2009.


SAAO Open Nights and Public Events

14 February, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Prof. Romeel Davé (SARChI Chair UWC) will present a talk entitled Computational Cosmology: Modeling the Universe on a Supercomputer. This will be followed by a tour of the site and (weather permitting) star gazing.


14 March, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Associate Prof. David Thrilling (Visiting scientist from University of Northern Arizona) will present a talk entitled When asteroids hit the Earth. This will be followed by a tour of the site and (weather permitting) star gazing.


Other Events of Interest

Cape Town Science Centre, 36 Buitenkant street, Cape Town

Thursday 29 February, 18:00 – 20:00: EBOLA – FROM THE FRONTLINES OF THE EPIDEMIC

Epidemiologist Dr Kathryn Stinson and infectious disease specialist Dr Rosie Burton will join forces with social scientist Dr Sarah Crawford-Browne, wildlife veterinarian Dr Patricia Reed and epidemiologist Gem Patten, who recently returned from Sierra Leone, to provide some insight into the Ebola virus and the current outbreak that’s wreaking havoc in West Africa.


The UCT Summer School:

26 – 28 January 09:15: The Cornerstones of Physical Reality: The Higgs Boson by Dr Andrew Hamilton


26 – 30 January 11:15: Women in Physics and Astronomy by Prof. David Wolfe


29 – 30 January 17:00: From Galaxy Mergers to Gravitational Waves by Dr Roger Deane, an SKA postdoctoral fellow


For more information see


Field Trips

Thursday 12 February 2015, 10:00:  Visit to the Palmiet Pump Storage Scheme near Grabouw : Installations like this one, which can be brought on line very quickly, are especially useful during periods of load shedding such as we are experiencing at present. There are still a few places available so contact Richard Jones if you would like to attend. Please do not reply to the Cape Centre e-mail address.


February 20 to 22: 2015 Summer Southern Star Party: Another exciting gathering of stargazers and astrophotographers of all levels of expertise at the Night Sky Caravan Park near Bonnievale. The usual interesting and varied programme will include two Beginners Observing Sessions for newcomers, talks by expert members on a number of fascinating topics and, of course, the World Famous SSP Pub Quiz. For more information see or contact Ed and Lynnette Foster on


Items for sale

Cape Centre Mugs: Decorated with beautiful images of some of the planets and their moons, they are great for hot drinks while star gazing, keepsakes or gifts. Available from Frank Jacobs at our meetings, R40 each.



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 | |